Finding jobs today can be very difficult. To survive the pandemic, many companies are laying off employees or have initiated a hiring freeze. Speaking from experience, unless you already know someone who knows someone (and sometimes even then…), the chance of you getting hired today is pretty slim. To remain competitive, you need an excellent resume that suits the job.
Because of this situation, it’s no surprise that some unscrupulous individuals have turned to lying on their resumes to increase their chances. From their skills to the company they’ve worked or are currently working for, nothing seems sacred for these people.
And since I have already discussed lying during interviews, I will now discuss lying on your resume and why it’s a bad idea. I will also include here the reasons why people lie on their resumes in the first place. Yes, it’s hard to find a job nowadays, but that is no excuse for deceiving other people about your candidate qualifications.
What is Resume Fraud?
In a nutshell, resume fraud is when an applicant embellishes and includes false information in their resume. These could range from lying about your educational attainments to possessing skills you don’t actually have. An example of this is lying about your proficiency in a programming language when you barely possess basic knowledge of it.
Resume fraud also includes omitting crucial information on your resume, such as any issues you may have had in your previous employment. This omission of information can mislead your employers just as much as you lying about your credentials.
Another, more sinister, form of resume fraud is pretending to be someone you’re not. Lately, we have received reports of an individual posing as a telemarketer for Remote Staff via LinkedIn. Not only that, but we have discovered that they have been using someone else’s credentials and uploaded it on Hub Staff Talent.
Why is Committing Resume Fraud a Bad Thing?
Although it may be true that lying on your resume is not illegal, you will still face plenty of consequences for your actions. For one, nobody’s gonna trust you anymore. This is particularly true if you’re trying to apply for an online job. The online job community is small and tightly knit, so word about your lying travels fast. When that happens, you can kiss your career goodbye.
The next reason? Sure, you can’t get sued for lying on your resume, but you can get sued for lying on the contents of your resume. What do I mean by this? If you lie about having an educational diploma or having an updated passport, you can get sued for falsifying documents. In the worst-case scenario, you’re looking at jail time in addition to paying a fine.
Why do Applicants do this?
There are plenty of reasons why applicants lie on their resumes. These are:
1. Financial Necessity.
The first reason, and probably the most common one, is necessity. A combination of the pandemic and the lack of opportunities have made many people, particularly those from lower-income backgrounds, very desperate. As I said in my article about lying during interviews: “why worry about a problem for tomorrow when you and your family are hungry today?”
It may not sound nice, but the many Filipinos today are in desperate need of jobs. Bills, food, and other miscellaneous expenses won’t wait for the pandemic to be over, you know. That’s why they apply to whatever job opening comes their way, even if their skills and knowledge don’t fit the requirements.
2. To Con other People.
Yep, you heard that right. As if we don’t have enough trouble today, there are people who prey on the desperation of their fellows during a time of pandemic. They deceive employers and other applicants by posing to be someone they’re not for their own benefit.
An example of this is the person I discussed earlier in this article. They were posing as a member of remote staff to con other aspiring candidates to sign up to them. If that wasn’t bad enough, this person is also profiting from this con as well.
This case isn’t just isolated at Remote Staff. There are growing incidents of fake employers masquerading as legitimate ones in other companies as well. This is alarming, as this trend can make application difficult for genuine applicants as well.
I have two examples of this happening outside of remote staff. The first example is about a seemingly ordinary applicant who applied for an SEO position. Everything went well for them, up until he needed to use their real name. Yes, their real name. They used their cousin’s name to sign up because their account was banned, and he was afraid he would be misunderstood.
My second example deals with someone who lied on their resume about their ability to build websites. Alarmingly, they were able to last one month conning their employers by avoiding meetings by saying they’re not available. When their employer got suspicious, they discovered that the applicant was outsourcing their work to someone else.
3. They Think they can Learn the Skills they Need on the Fly.
And the final reason why applicants lie is that they think that they can get away with it. For some people, padding their resumes helps them feel good about themselves without putting any effort into improving themselves. After all, they’ll teach you how to do your job at work, right? So why bother telling the truth in your resume?
This is the reason why there will always be applicants who claim “advanced” knowledge on the job they’re applying for, only to possess basic knowledge instead. And sometimes, they can’t even do the bare minimum that is required of them. Sure, “simplified” or “for dummies” courses helps, but they can only help so much. They can’t replace actual skill or knowledge.
Committing resume fraud, no matter what your reason may be, never ends well for you nor for your employers. Not only does this ruins your reputation, but you can face legal charges from your employer as well. Remember, you are not the only one having a hard time right now. Yes, times are desperate nowadays, but that does not excuse you from deceiving others.