What are the consequences of being untruthful on a resume and obtaining hire based on false information?
It is a known fact that, at times, applicants lie or embellish the truth to accommodate the position requirements when submitting a resume. But to what extent is it acceptable? Is mentioning something that you barely know even worth including? Some even claim to be experts in areas where they have very little experience. Embellishing details about education and past employment is quite common as well. While employers can expect embellishment when interviewing and can often sense over-embellishments or lies, there is a small percentage of applicants who succeed at getting hired with fake qualifications. What are the consequences of being hired under these circumstances?
Resume embellishment may be a job seeker’s best friend, not the employer’s.
Well, the applicant was hired. Now, they can only hope that the truth isn’t discovered. There are chances the employer can fire the employee after finding out the truth, or the new hire can be challenged on the experience they claimed to have. The employee could face humiliation and a damaged reputation. Lies on a resume could also hinder the employee from further growth in the company. It is never a good idea to lie on a resume. Many jobs require applicants to utilize the skills they have stated which gives much room for the truth to eventually come to light.
After the applicant with false information gets a job, how is the employer affected?
The implications of hiring a dishonest person could be as small as a simple termination of the employee or as extreme as a tarnished company reputation. The employer expects the employee to perform under their stated qualifications. Loss of work quality, less job satisfaction & productivity, cultural mismatch, and theft of company property or information are possible scenarios that could occur. The employer is liable for the performance of their employees. The company would likely benefit from using a third-party background check company that will verify the employment history, references, and skillsets of each prospective employee before hiring.
Most Common Lies on Resumes
You are not alone if you have falsified your resume. A survey by CareerBuilder reports that over 75% of employers come across lies on resumes. The survey also reported the aspects where job seekers would lie the most:
- Skillsets – 62%
- Dates of employment – 39%
- Job responsibilities – 54%
- Academic degrees – 28%
- Job titles – 31%
Potential Scenarios You May End Up Facing
Nothing good can come from falsely representing yourself on an application and you could face embarrassing situations when you least expect it. For instance, you may clear cursory background checks and land the job, only to come across a co-worker from your previous employment, who happens to be your new boss. Chances of candidates getting caught in a sticky situation are tremendous. And, these changes only increase if the employer has an experienced background screening provider.
These are a few potential scenarios you may have to face after falsifying your resume:
- You may not be able to carry out the job responsibilities as you claimed. For instance, if you claimed to be fluent in French, but do not know beyond what you learned in high school, you could put both yourself and your employer at risk for a lawsuit, or some other PR nightmare.
- Someone from your new job may know someone from your old job. Your misrepresentations can easily get exposed to this situation.
- Your employer may try to verify your claims again if your work quality is not what they expect it to be. They may get suspicious and run a second more extensive background check.
All employers do not carry out exhaustive or formal background verifications. However, chances of you not encountering an employer with a professional background screening provider are slim. You may jeopardize your professional career by being untruthful. Do not expect a job offer if you lied about your education, criminal past, work history, professional certifications, and other aspects (by omission or directly).
Consequences of being caught falsifying your resume are grim and may include:
- Job loss: You may most likely lose your job because of the breach of trust and get blacklisted in the company and all its subsidiaries. Sometimes, even a little white lie can indicate a serious character flaw.
- Reputation damage: You will not be able to use the current job in your resume as a reference. It is easy to get caught in this digital age since employers find it easy to share information with one another. This is especially true if you work in a close-knit industry, such as financial banking or newspaper reporting. News will travel fast that you are not to be trusted.
- Legal action: You could lose your right to take legal recourse against your employer even if they outright fire you for the misrepresentation. You will not be able to take legal action even if the actions on the part of your employer were illegal. This is known as after-acquired theory, which means that since the employment was acquired fraudulently, illegal, or immoral acts cannot be made legally actionable.
You Don’t Have to Lie on Your Resume
You can always make a great cover letter if you feel that you are a perfect fit for the organization but lack the skills required by the employer. This way you can let the hiring manager know about your qualities. Hiring managers tend to be more open to candidates possessing transferable skills. This means you do not necessarily have to be directly experienced in a field or employed in it to be eligible for the job opportunity.
Make it clear that you are willing to learn additional skills if required and use every opportunity to showcase your credentials. This approach is better than lying on your resume and risking the chance of getting caught. Passion and eagerness are the foremost qualities that most employers look for.
Peopletrail® offers reliable pre-employment background check services for businesses. Before the final step of onboarding, it is recommended to perform a thorough screening on the candidate.