From CNN: Ten tall tales told on résumés

Jason Morris

The moral of this story; Hiring managers will do background checks and uncover resume lies!

Résumés are a critical part of any job search. They are the most effective marketing tool any of us have about who we are and what we can do. And all of us want our résumé to be the best possible representation of our work.

But some workers turn their résumés into a work of fiction instead of a representation of fact. A survey of hiring managers and workers looked at the tall tales and bold lies used on résumés.

Story Highlights:

  • Many job applicants get too creative on resumes, making false claims
  • Highest rate of resume dishonesty reported in hospitality industry
  • College attendance, graduation is easy to verify; don’t claim degree not earned
  • Most companies disqualified candidates after discovering their dishonest

Here are the 10 most outrageous whoppers, as reported by hiring managers:

1. Candidate claimed to be a member of the Kennedy family

2. Applicant invented a school that did not exist

3. Job seeker submitted a résumé with someone else’s photo inserted into the document

4. Candidate claimed to be a member of Mensa
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5. Applicant claimed to have worked for the hiring manager before, but never had

6. Job seeker claimed to be the CEO of a company when he was an hourly employee

7. Candidate listed military experience dating back to before he was born

8. Job seeker included samples of work, which were actually those of the interviewer

9. Applicant claimed to be Hispanic when he was 100 percent Caucasian

10. Candidate claimed to have been a professional baseball player

Modifying your résumé is a lot like airbrushing a photo, and many of us may have made minor tweaks to our résumés. You may have revised a job title that sounded uninspiring or omitted a hellish work experience from your list.


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Jason Morris

President & Chief Operating Officer at EmployeeScreenIQ
A veteran screening and risk management professional, Jason Morris founded EmployeeScreenIQ in 1999 and acts as the company’s chief operating officer and president. Morris is a frequent speaker delivering captivating, interactive discussions on background checks, global screening, recruitment and staffing. He educates audiences in best practice initiatives as they relate to organizational employment screening programs. Morris has been quoted in numerous business and industry publications including The Wall Street Journal,, USA Today, New York Times, among others. He is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.
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  • A great post and so true. Resume and CV lies are not worth it.

  • Pingback: This Week in Background Checks 8/11-15/2008()

  • Malcolm Kass

    On #9,

    You have to be careful about that, for instance, the US government considers people of Spanish decent to be Hispanic, eventhough they are 100% european. The Library of Congress also includes people of Portugese decent to be hispanic, so I wonder if #9 might have actually been someone who actually may be hispanic, but looked white, and the employer just assumed that the person is actually lying.

  • Maria

    On #9.
    I am hispanic, my husband is caucasian, therefore my child is biracial, but he does not look nothing like me, red hair, green eyes, fair skin.
    Is he consider hipanic or white?