You Can’t Fool Recruiters: The Real Cost of Lying on Your Resume

Always be truthful on your resume. Although you may be tempted to embellish your titles, job duties, or contributions, odds are the truth will be discovered. Even if your resume gets you an interview and job offer, you can lose the role when your employer finds out you were dishonest. This is especially true if you lied about your academic degree, criminal record, certifications, or professional licensing. Because hiring managers invest a substantial amount of time and money to hire the most qualified candidate, they typically vet you before extending a job offer.

Here are four significant costs of lying on your resume.

Get Caught in Your Lies

Living in the age of instant communication makes it easy to verify the information on your resume. An employer can determine whether you actually have the degree you claim by calling the school. They can find out about job gaps or reasons for leaving by contacting your previous employers. Saying you have a degree that you don’t, changing your dates of employment, or pretending you left voluntarily when you actually were fired is a bad idea.

Fail to Complete Job Duties

Making false statements about your skills or previous job duties may cause difficulty meeting expectations in your new role. If you lack the experience detailed in your resume and can’t fulfill current job responsibilities, your employer can dig into your work history for more information. They easily can find out that your lack of honesty is why you’re not meeting company standards.

Lose Your Job

Your company has the right to terminate employment if they find out you lied on your resume. The relationship between employer and employee is based on trust. Because your manager offered you the position based on false information, they know they cannot trust you. Even if you gave a seemingly harmless reason to cover up why you left a previous role or mentioned having a college degree when you didn’t finish your last semester, lying is viewed as a serious character flaw. If you lie about something small, you could lie about something big.

Damage Your Reputation

Lying on your resume adversely impacts your professional reputation. Your references are unlikely to provide referrals for you. Your manager, colleagues, coworkers, and others who know that you provided inaccurate information can tell members of their network about your dishonesty. This significantly narrows down the number of employers willing to hire you, especially in small or specialized fields where word quickly travels. It’s easy for hiring managers and other professionals to find out about your actions from members of their network. Recruiters could decide not to work with you based on your dishonesty.

Get Help with Your Resume

Get help with your resume from Barracuda Staffing. Our recruiters provide advice and coaching to help secure your next position. Visit our job board to see which positions interest you today.

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