Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

With CEOs going to jail for embezzlement, the UN in an uproar over oil-for-food, and runaway brides deceiving law enforcement, it seems that dishonesty is rampant in our nation. It makes you wonder if anyone is telling the truth anymore.

I was reading an article in HR Magazine about how employers can spot lies in applications, resumes, and interviews. The article quoted ADP Screening and Selection Services “in performing 2.6 million background checks in 2001, it found that 44 percent of applicants lied about their work histories, 41 percent lied about their education, and 23 percent falsified credentials or licenses.” That’s a lot of lying going on.

That’s also a lot of background checks going on. It’s pretty much standard procedure these days for employers to do background checks. That includes checking your credit and your educational credentials too. Interviewers are trained on spotting lies in an interview. If you claim to be a whiz at a certain computer program, you can be confident that you will be asked to describe in detail one of the processes using that program.

All the lying starts with the application process. Never lie on your resume. It just doesn’t pay. In fact, you may end up paying – paying to reimburse the employer for the cost of hiring you, training you, and employing you in the first place. Don’t lie on the application, either. The application is a legal document that can be used in court (you signed it, remember?). If there are questions on the application that give you problems such as the criminal record section or reason for leaving employment sections, simply write in “will discuss in interview”.

Why do people feel compelled to lie in the first place, anyway? Is it fear of rejection? Is it that he/she feels reality must be inflated to get ahead? Fake accomplishments are no accomplishments at all. Stick with the truth – it will never let you down.

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