Job searchers can learn from the misfortunes of Robert Irvine, a British-born chef and presenter of Dinner: Impossible on the Food Network. Claiming credentials you don’t have is a recipe for disaster, says Lisa Chapman, a professional resume writer.
“Job seekers are most likely to lie about things like their education or number of years they worked for a company — and these are the easiest things to check,” says Chapman. If you’re not caught when the company checks your references, you will likely get tripped up somewhere down the line. And many companies have a policy in place that will lead to firing the employee caught lying on their applications — even if it’s several years later.”
Lying on resumes is on the rise. An online survey conducted for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that more than 60% of the 373 human resources professionals who responded reported finding inaccuracies on the resumes they review. Inaccuracies aren’t necessarily lies, but anything that brings the job seeker’s character into question is likely to end their chances for getting the job.
Irvine admitted that he lied about being a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order and exaggerated his role as a traveling chef for numerous heads of state.
“If the issue is the job searcher’s insecurity about their qualifications for the position, there are ways to address the issue without lying,” says Chapman. “It’s just not worth the risk when there are perfectly legitimate ways to position your credentials — for example, your lack of a degree — and still win the interview.”