There is now more competition for jobs than ever before. For many, simply getting an interview is considered an achievement. This means that candidates need to really stand out from the moment their resume lands on an employer’s desk. Unfortunately, more and more people are lying about their education, work history, and career achievements to get ahead in this environment.

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According to a recent survey, 56 percent of hiring managers have caught applicants lying on a resume. The most common lies involve embellishing skills and responsibilities. But there are five very compelling reasons why lying on a resume is always a bad idea.

Lies Can Be Uncovered Online

The internet is a valuable reference tool for employers. Simply Googling a name is often enough to uncover lies about career responsibilities and achievements. And, with sites such as LinkedIn becoming increasingly influential in the marketplace for jobs, it is becoming very difficult to exaggerate on a resume without being found out.

Educational Achievements Can Be Verified Easily

There was a time when employers were highly unlikely to investigate educational achievements listed on a resume. However, because checking claims is now easier than ever, many employers are doing so. The Federal Trade Commission and the National Student Clearinghouse both provide basic information about a student’s enrollment and graduation status.

Lying Can Destroy a Career Farther Down the Line

Making false claims on a resume today can have repercussions several years down the line. At the very least, lies can be the cause of professional embarrassment. At worst, however, the consequences may involve the loss of a promising career. Successful lawyer Thomas O’Riordan was forced to quit his illustrious job when an early resume was proven to be almost completely fabricated.

Lying Might Constitute a Criminal Offence

People who make significant financial gains from lying to employers about their professional credentials could be prosecuted for fraud. And, a successful prosecution might lead to both forfeiture of assets and imprisonment.

Behavioral Interviewing Techniques Uncover Lies

Employers are better than ever at using behavioral questions to get to the truth about a candidate’s credentials. Interviewers ask questions that require a candidate to talk at length about a specific event; they do this to verify claims on a resume. If the answers are vague or irrelevant, they are often seen as a sign of lies or embellishment.

It never pays to lie on a resume. Stick to the facts and be honest about shortcomings; this tactic is the best way to ensure a long, rewarding and successful career.