The 7 Most Common Resume Lies

Monday 20 January, 2014
Image Photo Credit: You'd be surprised to see how many opportunities for fibbing job seekers can find inside a single-page resume. Recent graduates might raise their GPAs or even change their major to suit the job they're applying for. Others decide that their family and friends can provide just as good a reference as a previous employer so they might slip that into their resume. Now we all understand that honesty is the best policy but some just continue to spin the truth. Here is OneShift's list of the 7 most common lies on resumes:

Dates of employment

We've all heard that staying at a job for less than than a year is a bad look on the resume, so instead of risking looking bad, many people just stretch out the dates of employment instead.

Job titles

This one can be confirmed with a quick call to a previous employer, but many managers don't necessarily check up on every candidate (sad but true). Embellishing what you've done in the past will trip you up because you'll be expected to take on similar tasks but you'll be unequipped for the role.

Skills and accomplishments

Wow, you sure have an impressive set of skills. Proficient in After Effects, Final Cut, Photoshop, PowerPoint, Excel and tons of other digital applications? Lying about your technical skills can come bite you in the ass quickly when, on your first day of work, you're handed a ton of video or sound files to edit or asked to cut a PowerPoint presentation together.


Lying about your salary might seem like an easy way to increase your asking price at your next job. But, once again, references can easily betray your web of lies, so the best policy is to stay honest.


Degrees and academic results are two of the most common resume fibs. Who would ever find out if you just make your 3.5 into a 3.7? Or even worse, change your major to suit the purposes of the job listing? You'd be surprised at how common this is! But it certainly doesn't go over well if your employer asks for your academic transcripts...


It's pretty common for a resume to state that the job seeker "managed a team" or "managed an account" in their last position. Sure the wording leaves this somewhat open for interpretation...but let's be honest, managing is managing. And if you were the lowest on the totem pole or really anything other than the manager, you didn't manage. Period.


Coercing friends and family to lie and act as your professional references can get them in trouble too so it's hardly fair on anyone involved. Value your friendships and look elsewhere for a genuine reference.
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