So you lied on your resume and got the job. What now?

Indeed stated in one of their studies that about 40% of people lie on their resumes, and 75% of employers have caught a lie on a resume.

While lying on a resume might seem like a harmless tactic to get ahead in the short term, the consequences can be catastrophic in the long run.

We are here to help you understand the risks associated with lying on your resume and we will also discuss healthier and safer alternatives for the same. Let’s commence!

What Is and Isn’t a Lie on a Resume?

A lie on a resume is any false or misleading information provided by a job seeker. But as you would know, lies aren't always black and white. We will help you differentiate various aspects of presenting information on a resume to understand what constitutes a lie and what doesn’t:

Check out the following table:

Harmless Unacceptable
Estimated or approximate metrics Falsifying education credentials
Date format with only months/years Lying about employment dates on resume
Standardizing and not lying about job title on resume Inflating work experience
Leaving out lesser relevant information Providing false references or experiences

Note: It is important to note that lying on a resume is not only unethical but also illegal. Employers have the right to terminate employment if they discover that an employee has lied on their resume.

Also read: How long does a background check take for a job?

Resume Fraud: Risks and Consequences of Lying on a Resume

Lying on a resume can have some severe risks and consequences, which can be detrimental to your career and reputation.

Risk of Getting Caught

Employers conduct background checks and reference checks to verify the information provided by job seekers.

If they discover that you lied on your resume, they might rescind the job offer or terminate your employment. According to a survey by HireRight, a global background screening company, 85% of employers caught candidates lying on the resumes they received.

Loss of Reputation & Future Prospects

Employers value integrity and honesty, and lying on a resume sends the message that you are not trustworthy. This could make it difficult for you to find future employment opportunities.

Your reputation could be damaged if your lie is discovered by your colleagues or industry peers. Employers might be hesitant to hire you because they cannot trust the information provided on your resume.

Hiration pro tip:
Employers share such instances in their network, so lying in one job application can lead to you getting blacklisted by other companies in that industry as well. Therefore, tread lightly!

Legal Consequences

If you are hired based on false information provided on your resume and you subsequently cause harm to the employer or their clients, you could be held liable for damages. In addition, you could also face criminal charges for resume fraud.

Moreover, lying on a resume can cause legal issues with your former employer, which will adversely affect your career ahead.

Emotional & Psychological Consequences

Lying on a resume can also have emotional and psychological consequences. The stress and anxiety of lying can take a toll on your mental health, leading to feelings of guilt, shame, and fear.

Moreover, if you get the job based on false information, you may have to constantly worry about getting caught, which can cause paranoia and anxiety.

Even if your employers never find out, that doesn't mean you will be able to do a job you are not qualified for, which can lead you to be laid off or demoted.

Also read: How to answer ‘Why do you want to work here’?

What to Do When You Lie on Your Resume?

This is a repairable mistake if you decide to take the right step at the right time. Let us find out how:

  • Update: If you are still in the interview stage, just fix your resume and provide the hiring manager with an updated version, explaining it as an unintentional error.

  • Withdraw: If you have made a significant false claim and are concerned about the risk of discovery, the safest course of action is to withdraw your application altogether.

  • Confess: Think carefully about this. If you told a big lie, it might be better to come clean, even if it could result in getting fired.

  • Upskill: If you lied on your resume about a skill to secure a job and now require it, it is time to upskill. Take the necessary lessons and courses as they will significantly benefit you.

Also read: What is an updated resume and why keep your resume updated?

What to Do Instead of Lying on Your Resume?

Now, if you are here to save yourself from committing to this edge case, here are some alternatives that you can choose to opt to add some weight to your resume:

  • Highlight your achievements: Instead of exaggerating your work experience, focus on highlighting the achievements on your resume . Use quantifiable metrics to demonstrate your impact in previous roles. This approach will showcase your skills and accomplishments without compromising your integrity.

  • Be honest about your skills and experience: You can also consider taking courses or volunteering to gain the necessary skills and experience. Additionally, highlight your transferable skills from your previous experience to show your potential.

  • Reach out to your network: Reach out to people in your industry and ask them for advice or referrals. Attend industry events and conferences to meet new people and learn about new job opportunities. This approach will help you build relationships and expand your professional network, which can lead to job opportunities.

  • Seek professional help: If you are struggling to land your dream job, consider seeking professional help. Hiration's next-gen ChatGPT-powered resume builder can help you craft a resume that highlights your strengths and achievements without resorting to lying. We will provide you with expert advice and guidance, which can increase your chances of success. Furthermore, you can get personalized feedback on your resume and tips on how to improve it.

Discover why Hiration stands out among other popular resume builders through some our comparative studies with:
Novo Resume
Resume Genius
RX Resume
My Perfect Resume

FAQs around ‘I Lied on My Resume and Got the Job’

  • What if I lie on my resume and get the job?
    If you lie on your resume and get the job, there are potential consequences such as damaging your professional reputation, losing the job if the truth is discovered later, and facing legal repercussions.

  • Will they find out I lied on my resume?
    There is a possibility that your employer may find out if you lied on your resume. Background checks, reference checks, and discrepancies in your work history or qualifications can raise suspicions and lead to discovery.

  • Should I tell my boss I lied on my resume?
    We recommend you consider improving your skills and qualifications and give all your efforts. If it still feels unsatisfactory or unrewarding, you can consider coming forward about the lie, but remember that it could result in termination and damage your professional reputation.

  • Can you go to jail for lying on your resume?
    In some cases, lying on a resume can be considered fraud or misrepresentation, which may have legal consequences. While going to jail is rare, potential legal actions can include fines, civil liability, or other legal penalties, depending on the jurisdiction and severity of the lie.

We wish you all the luck, and for any concerns or queries, feel free to reach out to us at support{@}

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