HR Strange But True

The Most Outrageous Lies Caught on Résumés

Recently, HRSBT reported that almost half (46%) of workers have claimed they know of someone who has provided false information on a résumé. However, a new survey—released by CareerBuilder—shows that 75% of HR professionals have actually caught a lie on a job applicant’s résumé. The survey also shows that 12% of HR pros are more likely to call a candidate back, based on something outrageous he or she has done to show that the person wants the job.resume

Perhaps the need to stand out comes from wanting to make every second count. Among HR managers, who are typically the gatekeepers of which applicants get in front of the actual hiring managers, 39% said they spend less than a minute initially looking at a résumé. Nearly one in five (19%) spend less than 30 seconds.

“If crafted well, your résumé is one of the most valuable marketing tools you have,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Rosemary Haefner from CareerBuilder in a press release. “In a matter of seconds, it can make or break your chances of moving along the hiring journey with a company. That’s why it’s important to be proactive with your résumé and avoid embellishments or mistakes. Take advantage of the tools available to you—the worst thing you can do is send a generic copy out to employers and then sit and hope for a response.”

The national online survey was conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll between May 24 and June 16, 2017, and included more than 2,500 full-time, U.S. employers across industries and company sizes, including 221 HR managers in the private sector.

In the survey, HR managers and hiring managers shared their most notable and cringe-worthy real-life examples of gaffes. These embarrassing résumé blunders serve as a reminder to always proofread your résumé.

  • An applicant claimed to have written computer code the hiring manager had actually written. Both had the same previous job, but the applicant did not know that fact.
  • Applicant included a picture with all of his pets.
  • Applicant said he worked for Microsoft but had no idea who Bill Gates was.
  • Applicant’s résumé was lifted from the Internet and did not match the cover letter.
  • Applicant said he studied under Nietzsche.
  • Applicant stated that he had tried and failed a certification exam three times but was planning to try again.
  • Applicant claimed to be an antiterrorist spy for the CIA at the same time period he was in elementary school.
  • Applicant falsely claimed to have a Project Management Institute (PMI) credential when applying for a job at PMI (the organization that grants that credential).
  • Applicant included a description about his family.
  • Applicant mentioned that his hobby is to watch horror movies.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen in a résumé? Share it in our comments section below, or e-mail us, and it could be featured in the next HRSBT!

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