Lying on Your Resume

How to Stop Lying on Your Resume

Lying on resumes? 

A recent study found that over 90% of the participants lied at least a little on their resumes.

Lying on Resumes

In looking at the lies, the researchers found they grouped neatly into four categories:

1. Job responsibilities — what the participants did.

2. Abilities — how well they performed their jobs.

3. Involvement — level and amount of time spent.

4. Interests.

Lying on Your LinkedIn Profile

The researchers also looked at what people lie about on their LinkedIn profiles.

They found the same four topics.

However, they found people lie more on LinkedIn about information that’s hard to verify — like interests.

People lie less about information that’s easy to verify — like responsibilities.

How to Stop Lying on Your Resume & LinkedIn Profile

In my experience, lies seep into resumes and LinkedIn profiles via adjectives and adverbs.

Look at the following examples of how a job seeker might represent his/her ability and involvement with C-level executives:

Less believable:

Quickly and successfully built C-level relationships across functional areas.

The words “quickly” and “successfully” reflect opinion. They might be right. They be might lies. Who knows?

When a sophisticated reader sees adjectives and adverbs on a resume, they wonder, “Is this person lying?”

More believable:

Served on IT Steering Committee with COO, CIO, and CFO.

Pure, heavy-hitting fact. Facts generate more credibility than opinions.

Eliminate Adjectives & Adverbs

Read through your resume.

Highlight the adjectives and adverbs. Rewrite to eliminate them.

Other people get to describe you with adjectives and adverbs. You’ll benefit from sticking to facts.

If you need inspiration, look at the executive resumes here.

A Second Way to Make Your Resume Believable

The researchers found that people lied more on their resumes than they did on their LinkedIn profiles.

If you want to make your resume believable, give it daylight. Copy and paste it into your public LinkedIn profile.

Submit your resume to public scrutiny and the eyes of former colleagues — show you have nothing to hide.

Let’s Connect on LinkedIn

Please don’t hesitate to invite me to connect on LinkedIn here.

The more I know about my readers, the better I can make my blog.


I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Save time. Look good. Get hired.
Click to learn more about my executive resume writing service or email me. 


Images: Vector Fusion Art, iQoncept, CartoonResource

Updated October 2018

© 2018, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

Let's Connect:

Comments 8

  1. A resume is a preface to your career, experience, skills, and potential. Your resume speaks to the interviewer before you are being asked. Go through the things that you have mentioned in your resume before appearing in an interview because anything can be asked directly or indirectly to you and you have to justify those points on the basis of your work experiences because the people who will be sitting in front of you would be highly professional and can easily judge you. So always be prepared whenever go for an interview.

  2. David,

    Good point! Always be able to talk (credibly) about the information you share on your resume.

    Thank you,


  3. I agree on David Ginchansky comment. ! Your profile should genuinely speak about yourself. Its not about getting a job, it about getting a right job with right responsibilities.

  4. It’s easier to just be yourself in your resume. From my experience, it is better to tell the truth and be able to prove all the things you mentioned in your resume at an interview rather than making a resume to match perfectly a job description and find yourself in an embarrassing situation at the interview.

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