I was reading an article from SHIRM that was geared toward hiring managers about applicants lying on their resumes and thought that I must turn this around for my readers on how lies can be spotted on your resume.

According to data from ResumeLab, 36 percent of applicants openly admit to lying on their resumes, but when asked if they’d stretch the truth to seem more qualified, the results rise to 56 percent. Don’t ask me why percentages changed when lying was redefined as stretching the truth…

That’s a huge number of people lying on their resumes or “stretching the truth”. As always, honesty is the best policy. Since stretching the truth has become a big hiring challenge, recruiters and Hiring Managers have to confirm that a resume is fully truthful which means they should perform due diligence and fact-check each aspect of a resume.

I have read thousands of resumes. Over time I was able to spot a liar. My intuition rarely let me down. Don’t be one of those job seekers. If you have to lie or stretch the truth the job is not for you.

Here are a few ways that recruiters weed out lies on a resume without having to fact-check everyone that comes across their desk:

Think like a Recruiter or Hiring Manager.


Your gut is usually correct.

If I read a resume and have a visceral reaction that something isn’t right, that doesn’t necessarily mean the applicant goes to the “no” pile, but definitely, the “maybe” pile. The recruiter will fact-check later if the resume still seems like a reasonable applicant against the others, but first impressions are important.


More often than not, a quick Google or LinkedIn search will bring up a ton of information on a person. I do not know any recruiters that don’t go to LinkedIn first to look for discrepancies between the applicant’s LinkedIn profile and their resume. It’s a huge red flag if the two don’t match up.

If you are on top of your job search, your LinkedIn profile should be current. That includes having an up-to-date photo.


Don’t hide gaps, indicate a reason for it – I was taking care of my sick mom and she is doing fine now. Regarding job hopping, show any layoffs on your resume and be prepared to answer the reasons you have short-term positions during your initial interview.


Too many candidates are copying and pasting the employer’s job descriptions straight into the experience section of their resumes. I’m not sure if that can be blamed on the rise of advice that resumes need to be tailored to job positions or not, but it isn’t uncommon.

Of course, you want your resume summary of experience to be similar to the job that you are applying for. But not copied from the job posting.


It seems that employers are currently requiring a Bachelor’s degree for most jobs, even for Administrative Assistant positions.

Did this applicant earn a degree? If so, what year? The interviewer won’t know because it’s not specified. As a recruiter, we tell our clients not to put the year that they graduated if you obtained your degree over 10 years ago , because of age discrimination. So, be careful if you’re going to add a Bachelor’s degree to your resume if you don’t have one. Companies are now including education in their background checks.


A survey by OfficeTeam found that 76 percent of people expanded the truth in the experience section of their resume, while 55 percent lied about their duties. A huge red flag is when you see achievements, duties and descriptions that don’t match the job title.

All I can say from experience is that if you lie on your resume and get hired for the job you truly are not qualified to do, eventually the truth will surface.

Honesty is the best policy!

Let me help you write a truthful resume that will highlight your honest accomplishments.

Let’s get on a Free 30- Minute Consultation Session with me  Schedule a 30 Minute Appointment – Cindy Fassler Career Coaching