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When you’re trying to land a new job, your goal is usually to position yourself as an ideal candidate. In most cases, job seekers focus on showcasing accomplishments on their resume that align with the role. However, for some, it involves deception.

Many candidates wonder if lying on a resume is actually an issue. Whether you’re searching for contract jobs near me or are looking for permanent positions. Here’s what you need to know about lying on your resume.

What Constitutes a Lie on a Resume?

Generally speaking, two types of lies may end up on a resume. First, there’s a lie of omission, where a candidate intentionally leaves off a critical detail to frame themselves as a stronger candidate. Second, there’s a lie of commission. This is where a job seeker presents information as fact, even though it isn’t true.

Lies of omission on resumes usually involve deception through misrepresentation. For example, if a job seeker lists a degree program they enrolled in but didn’t complete. Unless they explicitly state that they have not earned the degree, the approach could be viewed as a lie of omission. It causes the hiring manager to make an incorrect assumption – that the candidate completed the program – causing it to serve as a falsehood.

In some cases, not including a past job in a resume may be viewed as a lie of omission. If the employer conducts an employment background check, the job may appear, alerting them that the job seeker didn’t list it. Whether this ends up being a problem could depend on circumstance. However, it could be considered deceptive, which makes it a risky move.

With lies of commission, dishonesty and fabrication are usually involved. For example, listing a degree with a graduation date even though the job seeker didn’t earn the degree is a lie of commission. The same goes for listing jobs they didn’t hold, incorrect employment dates, skills the candidate doesn’t possess, or similar points.

Exaggeration can be a lie of commission, as well. Inflating one’s abilities, such as boosting a job title, responsibility level, or anything similar, is dishonesty. When the discrepancy is spotted, there are usually consequences.

What Happens When You Lie on Your Resume?

Lying on a resume can have serious ramifications. At some point, the dishonesty usually comes to light, and when that happens, the candidate usually pays the price.

During the recruitment process, employers usually verify any claims a job seeker makes on their resume. Once they discover a falsehood, a common reaction is to remove a candidate from contention or, if an offer has already been extended, rescind it.

If a lie isn’t noticed until a candidate becomes a new hire, that doesn’t mean the employee is safe. At times, it can result in immediate termination. Not only is the lie a breach of trust, but if the professional signed any documents asserting accuracy, it might even be illegal.

Additionally, word of the dishonesty will often spread. Along with a job loss or missing out on a job, your reputation may be critically damaged. This can prevent you from accessing other opportunities, especially if your field is relatively tight-knit.

Ultimately, lying on a resume is never a smart move. The odds of being caught are high and, once that happens, the damage is severe. As a result, honesty is, and will always be, the best course of action.

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