Executives are interviewing and watching the resume via tablet. Focus on resume writing tips, applicant qualifications, interview skills and preparation before the interview.

Many resumes contain fiction along with facts, according to a new survey from ResumeBuilder.com. Approximately 3 in 10 Americans admit they have lied about key job qualifications. The most common lies were about years of experience (46%), followed by educational background (44%) and how long the applicant held a previous position (43%). Respondents also admitted to embellishing their skills or abilities (40%).

The number of resumes in circulation is increasing as the U.S. economy rebounds from pandemic-related job losses, and almost three-quarters (72%) of respondents said they lied on their resume to improve their chances of getting hired. Other common reasons included:

  • Lacked necessary qualifications (44%)
  • Got fired/parted on bad terms from previous employer (41%)
  • To add more keywords to resume (40%)

High-earners were more prone to dishonesty, with almost half (49%) of people earning between $100,000 and $149,000 and 46% of those earning more than $150,000 admitting to lying on their resume. This compares to only a quarter (25%) of those who earn less than $99,999 per year. Resume lies were most prevalent among those in the IT-related (55%) and finance-related (45%) fields. Across all fields, men (42%) were twice as likely as women (22%) to lie.

Education levels also seem to correlate with honesty levels, and respondents with the lowest and highest levels were more likely to lie. Forty-one percent of respondents whose highest level of education was middle school and 45% of those with a postgraduate degree lied, compared to only a quarter (25%) of those with a high school diploma and just over a quarter (27%) of those with a bachelor’s degree.

But job seekers should think twice before embellishing their job qualifications. Of the 1,250 survey respondents, 41% had their job offer rescinded once they were found out, and 18% were hired and then fired.