The 8 Most Common Lies That People Put on Resumes

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How far are you willing to go to get a job? More than half of us admit to lying on our resumes at some point — about 51% of women and 60% of men.

That could have been as many as 42.5 million people in 2022, according to a survey of more than 1,700 Americans by StandOut CV. The resume services company asked people who were employed or who had previously been employed about lying on resumes, about their references or in interviews.

Certain types of lies were especially common, the survey found. Here are the most common resume lies and the percentages of people who admit to them:

  • Previous work experience: 55.4%
  • Skills: 43.1%
  • College degree (or equivalent): 41%
  • Personal details (age, location, name): 39.5%
  • High school details: 39.2%
  • Salary information: 33.6%
  • Job-specific software or equipment skills: 33.5%
  • Employer references: 21%

People in certain industries were also more likely to lie, particularly in manufacturing (72% said they had), health care (64%) and the arts or other creative work (63%).

Some people might consider selective omissions to be lying, but older workers in particular may want to take steps to lower the risk of age discrimination.

Listing untrue things, on the other hand, is likely to backfire on you. Employers are certainly aware of the prevalence of lying and are given expert advice on detecting lies.