What Happens When a Candidate Lies on Their Resume?

back to blog


Mintz Global

As a result of the greater accessibility of higher education, and the consequent increase in the number of people obtaining higher degrees than a few years ago, the competitiveness for top jobs has exploded. It is therefore no surprise that in order to increase their chances of being hired, more and more unscrupulous people decide to embellish or simply lie about their qualifications, experience or skills when applying for such positions.

But what are the consequences for them when their lies are discovered? And how can we prevent these hires from being a legal hazard, as well as a significant risk to a company’s reputation?

What are the most common lies when applying for a job?

Most job applicants use small lies that could easily be overlooked, such as:

  • Exaggerating the length of their previous employment by a few months, usually to cover up periods of inactivity. A red flag might be someone who doesn’t record the months of their activity but just the years.
  • Filling in periods of inactivity with hard-to-verify jobs such as “self-employed,” “volunteer” or “intern” is also very common.
  • Exaggerating jobs or responsibilities by embellishing position titles or adding details to post descriptions.
  • Highlighting an uncompleted education or degree, for example by listing a college program they did not complete.
  • Omitting a termination or indicating a termination for misconduct as a layoff.
  • After a bad experience in an organization, listing a reference as a former manager when it really is a colleague or, more damagingly, a friend they never worked with, in order to get a positive reference.

In some rarer cases, but more often than one might expect, some applicants go so far as to present fake diplomas or certificates, either falsified or from what is commonly known as diploma mills (usually unaccredited organizations) that issue “diplomas” for a fee. It is also not uncommon for some candidates to simply make up experiences, justifying their intractability by the closure of the companies in question.

Read more

Sorry, Comments Are Closed