Lying on Your CV or Résumé? Here’s How They’ll Nail You.

It’s a sad fact that some folks lie on their CVs and résumés. Sometimes, they lie by adding jobs or skills they never had, or fictionalizing achievements. There are also “lies of omission,” in which they leave off information that could affect a hiring manager’s decision-making.

Lying is bad, of course. Fortunately, it seems that many tech pros aren’t willing to engage in that sort of behavior while applying for jobs. In a new survey from Blind, some 90 percent of (anonymous) respondents said that they’d never embellished or lied on their CVs, résumé, or LinkedIn profile. (Blind surveyed some 10,364 tech pros in total.)

As with virtually all Blind surveys, the results also varied by company. For example, some 12.50 percent of respondents from SAP (or so they said) lied or embellished their materials; on the other end of the scale, only 2.83 percent of those who worked for Salesforce said they’d lied or embellished. (As with all such anonymous surveys, you have no choice but to take the respondents’ claims of employer at face value; there’s always the possibility that some could be lying.)

Lying is bad, and here’s how recruiters and hiring managers usually catch the tech pros who try it:

They’ll Make Extra Reference Checks

Many tech pros are willing to provide references who will say glowing things about them. But hiring managers and recruiters will sometimes ask other folks for their opinion. For example, if a recruiter discovers that they share four mutual contacts with the candidate, they might reach out to one or two of them for feedback. If what they hear doesn’t align with the picture presented by the CVs, résumé, or social profile… well, let’s just say the job candidate will have a serious problem.

They’ll Research Your Education

Sure, a recruiter or hiring manager might not check up on whatever you listed as your education… but many of them can (and will). There are lots of background-check services and organizations such as the National Student Clearinghouse that can help verify degrees and enrollment.

They Know How Job Duties Align with Titles

Any recruiter or hiring manager who has been in the tech game long enough knows the responsibilities of various positions. So if you try to make your previous roles seem “bigger” or more accomplished, chances are good they’ll see right through it. Associate-level employees are rarely given the chance to spearhead initiatives, for instance.

They’ll Test You on Skills

Listing dozens of tech skills might get you past the automated keyword-scanning systems that many HR departments use to source CVs and résumés (unless you pack too many in, in which case those systems will reject your materials as egregiously overstuffed), but flesh-and-blood recruiters and hiring managers will actually quiz you about your abilities—if they don’t subject you to a battery of tests. Don’t put down any skill unless you’re willing to prove yourself in front of a keyboard, even if you think it’s a good way to get your foot in the door.

50 Responses to “Lying on Your CV or Résumé? Here’s How They’ll Nail You.”

  1. I am Amber.
    I recently passed 12th with 78% marks and 10th with 85.5% marks with science(biology) stream.
    Nowadays, I am in Bsc. Ist year from PPN degree college kanpur.
    I am interested in technology and computer.
    I also know the c++ language and I really like to do the coding and programming as well.
    I need the job in technology sector.
    Thankyou

  2. Tell this to the millions of white privileged individuals who were magically placed in executive roles they don’t qualify for without anyone looking at their fabricated resume or CV💯

    This article is nonsense because 80% percent of the executives in the work force lied on their Resume or CV💯

    If people can pay for their children to get into college without their child having the necessary qualifications to be admitted, that should serve as a Tell Tale sign of the fraud that is taking place in the work force💯

    Tell the authors of this article to go back to the drawing board! Or better yet, have the author write an article on how to properly lie on your resume and CV with a follow up article about how to fraudulently climb the corporate ladder from college to the board room 🤷🏾‍♂️

    • Wow, you are dumb… No one is “magically placed”… They earn it. It is not handed to them like Government Cheese. Sit back and cry at the world or work hard and become a CEO. No one will do it for you, Snowflake..

    • Facts of life

      Well, he’s not totally wrong. The person writing this article seems to forget people who are “friends” and BS better will get positions over people who are great at what they do. Was just at a company where a person with NO marketing experience was made CMO over someone with 15 years of in-depth marketing experience who got the job done and showed results, and the department people would follow. Why was this guy with no marketing experience made CMO, because he lied, created controversy and berated the team, but was friends with the CEO who wanted friends because the CFO was pushing him out.

      • TronJay

        I also agree with HaHa. There are thousands of CIOs/CTOs/VPs of IT/IT Directors who don’t know squat. I’ve seen help desk tickets from the top guys who need someone to come fix their printer or help them connect to wifi. That’s why they always say there’s a ‘skills shortage’ because all those chumps sitting in the big chair need IT personnel who can make things work in spite of the incompetent policies and mandates they put in place. Nepotism is industry wide.

        • TronJay: They don’t need to know that stuff to be good at their jobs. That’s why the Help Desk exists. That is YOUR job. You complain, but if these “chumps” did this stuff for themselves, you would be waiting on the unemployment line sipping stale coffee and whining like a B****

    • There is no such thing as white privilege. You boob. There is such a thing, however, as “work hard and excel” privilege. You’re the racist, and you don’t even know it. That’s sad.

  3. White guy

    The minute your comment said “White people” your argument became racist and invalid. Tell this to the many qualified candidates who weren’t hired die to “affirmative action” as well. That is the most racist hiring policy ever implemented.

      • Thenblackisntaraceeither

        That is insane that you are saying that you can’t be racist against white people. Sure you can. The above was one of the most generalized, ignorant statements I have ever seen. Do me a favor and look up the definition of racism. Sounds to me like you are upset at the world and you think things are owed to you based by the color of your skin. You are part of the problem.

      • Racism is defined as showing prejudice against someone based on their race or religion. The thought of racism only being something that can be inflicted on people of color is moronic. Affirmative action shows extreme predujuce against people who are not of color.

        • Jonathan caraballo

          Only white people can be racist. In order to be racist you have to be able to affect the outcome for another race. White people make majority of the controlling decisions. Other races can hold prejudice but not be racist

          • Seminole

            Hate creates hate. Racism creates racism. If you define racism for yourself based on racial lines, Jonathan, you merely perpetuate that which you say you resent. Hypocrite.

      • Nancy Gedik

        You most definitely CAN be racist towards white people! “Racism: a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.” Any human on the planet is capable of holding to the definition of racism. Notice, I didn’t call you an idiot… The dictionary did.

      • You are so smart! Your IQ score must be 50. Where does the definition of racism contain the word white?

        “Racism is the belief in the superiority of one race over another, which often results in discrimination and prejudice towards people based on their race or ethnicity.”

      • Can one be racist against honkies?

        One theory currently in vogue is that “racism” is all about power – and since honkies had it and blaqpipo didn’t, it was entirely one way.

        Perhaps it’s true.

        But then, we need another word that means “Hating someone because of their race, ethnicity or culture”.

        That word used to be “Racism”.

        Any suggestions?

      • try being white in Albuquerque. You will learn about racism from the victims perspective real fast. oh, you and your friends definition of racism is incomplete and convenient to your argument.

    • More White Women BENEFIT from affirmative action, EVER! The affirmative action document says minorities not Blacks, Spanish, etc. You have 40% of Historical Black Colleges and Universities students are WHITE PEOPLE using affirmative action. What a change in tides; the HBCU were created because of the mainstream colleges and universities REFUSING Black People into their establishments. WTF&SMH!

  4. As a daughter of a woman who traveled the United States teaching undoing racism workshops; racism & prejudices are not the same. Any person can be prejudice. It is not until a person applies power (often backed by unjust laws i.e jim crow laws,, banking practices i.e. redlining, & a justice system that miraculously regained her sight depending on socioeconomic status of the defendant) to their prejudices, does the act of racism exist. It is true that Affirmative Action was born as a remedy to racism in Corporate America where to good old boy network hired unqualified candidates based on their relatives & friends & social connections; regardless of how uneducated the applicants were. Simply making a statement that is true but unpleasant for some to hear, does not make a person a racist.

    Unfortunately, minorities in America did not have enough access & political power-until recently-to pool their resources to abolish racist policies that favored, what was known back then as the “majority”, which were white men & women. Anyone can say that Affirmative action is reverse racism but that just isn’t true. Affirmative Action was a corrective measure that is still needed in this country. When a woman with 4 degrees is unemployable in the South, while people with GEDs & extensive criminal histories are hired just because he is a part of a program designed to put ex-cons back to work; I would say that Affirmative Action is important.

    • Peri, I see things totally different. As a highly educated white male that has never served in the military, (they would not let me serve for medical reasons when I tried to sign up), I have been passed over countless times in favor of lesser qualified minorities my whole life. It is because of programs like Affirmative Action and the WOTC (look it up) that our companies and government are overrun by imbeciles, (and that truly hurts productivity). When management can’t even put out a decent memo to their staff, and highly intelligent, highly educated, and very experienced people struggle to even find a decent paying job, where now we even have to compete against H-1B visa holders, (and yet we end up working for an idiot that has no reason being our boss other than their color, or sex), what more evidence of discrimination does one need when their boss is a complete idiot with no skills, and her memos look like a 6th grader would do better, (but she’s a minority so we have to give her this job to save on our taxes). Weren’t these programs put into place to fight against discrimination, but all they did was reverse the discrimination, not end it all together, (and it was sanctioned by the government). Minorities wanted equality, and they have more than surpassed equality in the workplace, yet they still scream for more. When does this squeaky wheel syndrome stop? (The answer is: It won’t, because they have learned that as long as they keep screaming for more, stupidity from the apologists and stupid Democrats will reign.) Next up: Reparations… All I can do is shake my head about that subject, as nobody alive today was ever a slave, (unless they recently came over from a Muslim controlled country, because the Muslim countries still have slaves), but the Democrats support the Muslims, so let that sink in. Also, the US was not the only slave using country, but no other country that abolished slavery has the problems with the constant nattering of black people who’s distant relatives may or may not have been slaves. Look at England, look at Jamaica. They used slaves, but the black people of those countries seem to be civilized, (compared to here in the US). I wonder why that is? (To me, everything points back to the Democrats using the black population to spread hate and discontent, and they keep the pot stirred through the media.)

    • @ Peri, Thank you for your comments. Not only are you factually accurate, but you are also able to deliver information without being demeaning or prejudicial. Please visit every comment section on social media for the next 6 years, like a tour of duty. I submit that some others hinted at validity, yet chose to be either condescending, extremist, or two-dimensional, any of which rendered their statements too difficult to consider. If the forum is to incite listening or continued reading, Peri nailed it.

    • “It is not until a person applies power … to their prejudices, does the act of racism exist.”

      When did this become part of the definition of racism? Part of the problem with some people today is that they are redefining terms, and then using those terms as though the new definition has always been the accepted definition. Obviously in the US, the treatment of blacks and other minorities by whites has historically been an issue, and the issue that power played in that racism is a valid discussion to have in that context. However, please let’s have that discussion honestly according to the accepted dictionary definitions of words, instead of trying to load old words with new meanings. The issue of “power” is not inherently built into the definition of racism. If I’m wrong, please point me to a reputable, time-tested resource for this definition.

  5. Ronald Boyd

    I think I’d end up getting in trouble by leaving things off my resume. Like my critical work experience flipping burgers at McDonald’s before I got my two B.S. degrees from colleges which turned into universities after I left them. When it boils down to it, I just don’t see how they would even care that I was a First Lieutenant in my High School JROTC program. Like who cares you graduated cum laude from High School? What matters is if you’ve worked since High School in a field relevant to your major. Or your wages increased with each job you migrated to. Sorry, I’m moving DOWN in the world and not UP in the world, but that’s the way the chips fall sometimes. And the value of your G.P.A. has nothing to do with the difficulty of all the courses you attempted or the fact that you CLEPed your entire Freshman Year. So, all you need to do is take easy courses to keep that number up high. And if you don’t become someone’s minion in your youth, don’t expect to get a similar job in your old age. If you want to get into Identity Politics, that’s probably where you can gain advantage.

  6. B jones

    This is a cute article. Unfortunately, we live in a society where it’s the who you know rather than what you know so of course you end up with people in positions they shouldn’t be in and no one will bat an eye until someone catches it and there are penalties. I’d be willing to bet that many of the recruiters or H.R. people who NOW have an issue, have omitted, lied or embellished themselves. People will continue to lie until they see they don’t win by doing so. Welcome to America!

  7. Ha – so funny. The H1b visa holders who were given an inflated job title in order to qualify for their visa but actually performed at an entry level capacity are gaming the system now. There was one guy – a ‘manager’ with one of the big bodyshops was a lowly production support analyst (and not very productive at that). His linkedin resume makes it appear he actually was running the place! And, his H1b bodyshop buddies will happily vouch for him. I know of another H1b – a not-very-good Java dev who, over the years, has revamped his linkedin resume to suddenly have been a senior architect and manager (at the same time we KNOW he was a low-level dev, reporting to a team lead (who quit) who, in turn, reported to a senior manager (now deceased)) – this from a guy who didn’t even test his own work. I have little respect for these antics.
    Using linkedin references is NOT bulletproof – in fact, it is an easy way to game the process. Linkedin was a nice idea at one time, but without decent verification it can be total trash.

  8. HaHa you said it all !!!!!!!…..America is based on lies anyway….my first time i went in for ma visa to come to the US, as a student i went to the embassy with genuine documents and was denied a visa BUT when i went back again with some fraudulent document this time around,i got the visa.I don’t see anything wrong with a lie to get your foot in the door and improve yourself…..fast forward most of these companies will not hire you if you only have 1,2,3 years of experience so what do you do ? the truth is who should start for who to get that 10years experience ? so long as you not killing anyone to get that job why not? and what do you have to lose?

  9. I always counseled my students that lying takes more effort and memory than telling the truth. But is a recruiter requiring 6 years experience in a product only available for 3 years being honest? Yet they hire H1B applicants who lie about fulfilling the requirement.

  10. To be discriminating is defined as being picky. Women managers prefer male employees and female employees prefer to work for a male boss. Muslim Indians preferentially discriminate against Hindi Indians. Microsoft is run by an Indian CEO (now citizen) Satya Nadella; now Microsoft campus looks like a suburb of Bombay or Bangalore. The best liars and the best con men (salespeople) can pass lie detector tests because they believe their own lies. Salesmen (believers) are more likely to believe the lies of another salesperson. Someone who conned their way to a management position is more likely to hire another lying employee. Oh, and remember Parkinson’s Law: “people are promoted to their level of incompetence”.

  11. Daniel Lark

    I can honestly say that In 38 years Working In Information Technology I have never lied or embellished anything on my resume. I have seen the effect though. One potential employer had Applicants sign a document to swear that everything on their job application and resume was accurate and if after hired anything was found, it was grounds for termination. But I also had a recruiter recommend that I drop 10-15 years of experience from my resume. It’s not like they would see a degree earned in 1979 and not be able to figure out my age

  12. JohnShepherd

    @DANIEL I shave my resume to the tune of 12 years now maximum. All roles before 2006 no longer exist and if they require a graduation date, I always use the current year, as if I’ve made a mistake. Ageism is real. I buck the system by staying current with my skills, working well independently, not promising much, but over performing, and Im in my jobs working contracts.
    And I know how to interview like a mother. You find the one thing they want done by the person in your position, the one thing that none of them want to do or even think about, and you hammer that home over and over and over and it’s the last thing they hear you say as you shake hands and separate. And it works, for me, every time. Though no joke, it’s an exhausting hustle.