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Lying on Your Resume: What Are the Consequences?

Lying on Your Resume: What Are the Consequences?

Kim Isaacs | Monster Contributing Writer

August 14, 2009

The Big Consequences of Little Lies

“The best lies will be those that mirror reality,” Levitt says. “My hunch is that the reputed 50 percent of resume cheaters are mostly making little cheats here and there, for instance, to cover up times when they were out of the labor force for six months.”

Perhaps viewing these mistruths as harmless white lies or marketing spin, people who lie on a resume may end up doing more damage – to themselves and others – than they realize.

“When someone else cheats, it hurts the honest people,” Levitt says. Honest job seekers can be edged out of competition by individuals who give themselves an unfair advantage by fabricating or exaggerating credentials.

And what about the damage cheaters do to themselves? “Even if you are never caught, you will have to live in constant fear that someday you will be caught and punished and with the guilt of knowing what you did was wrong,” Levitt warns.

Honest Strategies for Getting Ahead

No matter what the reason or justification for lying, if your resume isn’t entirely truthful, know this: You don’t have to resort to lying to win a job. There are ethical resume strategies you can use to address issues like job-hopping, time off from the workforce, minimal work experience, lack of or incomplete college degrees, being fired and having a criminal record.

Levitt’s research findings and the stories of job seekers who got caught lying on their resumes are cautionary tales to anyone in the workforce: You jeopardize your future when you lie about your past.

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Top 10 Common Resume Blunders

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