Is It Okay to Lie On Your Resume – Ask HR Bartender

by Sharlyn Lauby on October 17, 2012

Is it okay to lie on your resume? Or at least stretch the truth?

You might think this is a crazy question. But it’s really not. There’s so much contradictory information out there for job seekers. Some people might view their resumes as a mere attention getter. So it really doesn’t matter what’s on it because a resume’s only purpose is to get the interview. Then a candidate can dazzle the company with their “real” experience and expertise. Once that happens, the resume is tossed to the side. It’s served its purpose.

Well, let me share with you another POV:

What advice would you give to someone who is embellishing their resume? Let us know in the comments.

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Lynn G. October 17, 2012 at 9:24 am

In mentoring students and alumni on job search related issues, I encourage them to make the most of their resume by focusing on their strengths and value added/contributions. A well written resume can help set the agenda for an interview…one in which the good interviewer will drill down on those strengths/contributions and a good candidate will have the chance to expand on them through stories. So, unless you’re prepared to “defend/expand” on embellishments – which may be exposed as such – I would encourage sticking with “real” strengths and accomplishments.

Your Boss October 17, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Of course you can lie on your resume. Would I recommend it? Of course not. And we all know why: you lie, you get caught most of the time (and in some cases pretty fast) and you get fired. Why risk your reputation, right? It is just not worth it.
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Shiela Gomez October 17, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Totally agree with you, Sharlyn. When the position requires licensing from the state and the applicant is limited on the services they can provide and lie, you can get caught by the inspector ( e.g. Hairstylist) it will put everyone in the organization at risk. Most of all, you’ll loose your license.
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Shiela Gomez October 17, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I meant lose.
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Patty October 17, 2012 at 11:49 pm

The term to be used should not really be “lie” but it’s something that you put yourself forward or you sell yourself in the best possible way to make your resume attractive to the HRs or hiring staff.

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Amit De October 18, 2012 at 9:18 am

It is never OK to lie on a resume, and you’ve made some very important points in your video. While resumes aren’t legally binding documents, your lies can and will follow you. If a job seeker has to lie to get their resume looked at, chances are that they are not qualified for the position they are applying for. Even if they were to make it to an interview with those lies on their resume, a hiring manager is certain to sniff out what’s false. Don’t damage your personal brand by lying on your resume!

Sharlyn Lauby October 18, 2012 at 10:09 am

Thanks everyone for the terrific input! I think Shiela’s point is spot on. You can call it being creative, embellishing, whatever… At the end of the day, if you can’t deliver what you put on your resume, it’s damaging to both the individual and the company.

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