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Résumé Lies Catch Up With Job Applicants

Résumé Lies Catch Up With Job Applicants
Credit: Syda Productions

Despite it being one of the biggest mistakes job seekers can make when trying to land a job, 56 percent of hiring managers have caught an applicant lying on their résumé, according to a new study from CareerBuilder.

The research shows its not just one part of their résumé where applicants choose to exaggerate the truth. More than 60 percent of the hiring managers surveyed have caught job seekers embellishing their skill sets on résumés, while 54 percent of have received résumés where candidates have lied about their previous responsibilities.

Dates of employment, job titles and academic degrees are among the other résumé lies hiring managers have received.

Part of their logic behind not being completely honest could be because they know how little time they have to stand out in the eyes of those reading their résumés. [How to Write a Functional Resume: Tips and Examples ]

The study revealed that 70 percent of employers spend less than five minutes reviewing a résumé, and 48 percent spend less than two.

"Job seekers have the unenviable challenge of grabbing – and holding – a hiring manager's attention long enough to make a strong impression," Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, said in a statement. "Embellishing your résumé to achieve this, however, can ultimately backfire."

While job seekers may be inclined to try and beef up their résumé in an attempt to meet all of a job posting's requirements, not being 100 percent qualified isn't a deal- breaker to many employers. More than 40 percent of the hiring managers surveyed consider candidates who meet only three out of five key qualifications for a specific role.

"Most hiring managers are willing to consider candidates who do not meet 100 percent of the qualifications," Haefner said. "Job seekers can increase their chances for consideration by proving past achievements that exemplify an ability to learn, enthusiasm and cultural fit."

Instead of trying to come off like the perfect candidate in a résumé, there are other steps candidates can take to get on a hiring managers' good side. Drafting your résumé for the specific job you are applying is one way. More than 60 percent of those surveyed said résumés that are customized for their open position is the top attribute that causes them to pay more attention to a candidate.

Résumés that are accompanied by a cover letter, addressed to the hiring manager or recruiter by name, or include a link to the applicant's online portfolio, blog or website are the other features most likely to get hiring managers to give a résumé a second look.

The study was based on surveys of more than 2,532 hiring and human resource managers.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.

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