Updated June 10, 2022

Resume Falsification Statistics


Read more about the shocking percentage of misleading resumes and what consequences they bring.

Condensing all of your experience, skills, and education on a single page can be challenging. But a stellar resume is a must to lock down a job interview.

In an effort to stand up to the competition, some job seekers may even falsify information.

Even a small white lie on a resume can come back to haunt you. Fluffing up your qualifications or experience is a big risk. It can get you passed up for a job or lose your position.

Here are statistics to make you think twice about fudging the truth.

How Common Is Resume Falsification?

To begin with, let's cover some basic ground on resume falsification. Specifically, how often people include false information and employer responses.

How many resumes contain misleading information?
46% of resumes include at least one discrepancy between the resume and what turns up during a background check.

How common is resume padding?
Research shows that resume falsification is a fairly common practice. But only 32% admit to misleading potential employers.

It's not just employees who are guilty of bending the truth. Yahoo! CEO, Scott Thompson stepped down from his role after just four months. This happened because it was discovered that he'd lied about his education.

Does the economy impact resume falsification?
The job market is tough. Candidates may feel the need to get a little creative with their work history to score an interview.

Approximately 33% of employers say they've seen an uptick in resume falsification in the post-recession era.

Would college students lie to get a job?
A shocking 95% of college students say they would lie to gain employment. Even worse, 41% admitted to having done so.

How often do college students lie on their resumes?
College students seem to be the most likely to bend the truth. An estimated 92% admitted to including at least one misrepresentation on their resume.

Does lying on a resume ever lead to a job offer?
A significant number of employers (66%) expressed willingness to hire an employee despite lying. Most of these employers consider dishonest employees if they had a good explanation.

Can employers forgive dishonesty?
Lying on your resume can potentially cost you a job. But data show that only 41% of the dishonest job seekers weren't hired. And 29% did not face any consequences.

Which industries have the most resume falsification?
The IT industry sees the most fibbing. Around 55% of employees said that they lied on their resumes. The finance industry comes in second, with 45% of employees making the same claim.

What Information Is Falsified?

For this part, the focus is on what things most applicants exaggerate. Also, what they tend to omit.

What's the most common thing candidates lie about?
Overwhelmingly, around 46% of job seekers admitted to being dishonest about years of experience.

What's the least common misrepresentation?
The range of things that job candidates lie about is pretty extensive. But awards and accolades typically aren't among them. Just 18% of employers say they've run into this kind of deception on a resume.

How often do people lie about their education?
About 44% of job seekers aren't completely honest when it comes to their education. Some things applicants lie about include:

  • What they majored in
  • What school they attended
  • What degree they earned

Do people lie about why they left their last job?
If your previous position didn't end on good terms, you may want to keep it to yourself. Around 40% of people misrepresent their reason for leaving their previous company.

How many people aren't honest about employment dates?
Your resume should reflect exactly when you worked in a specific position. But 43% of job candidates admit to listing inaccurate employment dates.

Are fake references and negative reviews common?
More than 76% of employers report getting negative feedback from a candidate's references. Meanwhile, 17% say that they discovered a reference included on a resume was fake.

Detecting Resume Falsifications

Employers frequently detect resume fraud. Find out what measures they use to sniff out job seekers who aren't honest.

How long do employers view a resume on average?
Resumes are designed to be scanned quickly. Thirty-nine percent of HR professionals say they view them for less than a minute. While 23% say they scan resumes in under 30 seconds.

How easily do hiring managers spot lies on a resume?
If you think sneaking false information past an employer is easy, think again. Nearly 85% of hiring managers say they've caught a lie on a resume.

Is pre-employment screening effective?
77% of employers say that the screening process picks up on issues that might have gone unnoticed. Moreover, 57% say that pre-employment screening is useful in ensuring the quality of hires.

Are background checks prevalent?
Pre-employment screening is standard for most companies. Organizations use different methods to conduct background checks on their applicants including

  • Public data (84%)
  • Previous employment (72%)
  • Identity (67%)
  • Academic record (49%)

Do temporary employees get screened?
Seasonal and temporary employees typically are subject to a rigorous hiring process. In fact, 86% of employers say they take a closer look at the backgrounds of these workers.

How often is social media used to verify information?
Only 11% of organizations say they use social media as a means of checking an applicant's resume for accuracy.

How common is re-screening?
Certain companies go the extra mile to make sure they've selected the right person for the job. Approximately 52% of employers conduct additional screening after hiring an applicant.

What's the financial cost of resume fraud?
Hiring someone who falsified their resume leads to a negligent hiring lawsuit. It can cost employers $1 million to settle the matter.

Bottom Line

Falsifying a resume can help you get your foot in the door. But it can end up doing far more harm than good in the long run.

Honesty is, after all, the best policy. Especially when you're trying to land in the good graces of a potential employer.

Sources and References:

Rebecca Lake is a journalist at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Rebecca Lake at rebecca@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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