Eight Percent of Americans Have Embellished Their Resume, Says New FindLaw.com Survey

More than one in four who padded their resume lost their job as a result

May 22, 2012, 05:20 ET from FindLaw.com

EAGAN, Minn., May 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Recent headlines have brought renewed focus to the issue of resume padding. According to a new survey by FindLaw.com (www.findlaw.com), the most popular legal information website, 8 percent of Americans admit to embellishing or exaggerating information on their resume.

And as some recent corporate scandals have highlighted, the consequences can be severe. More than a quarter of the people who admitted padding their resumes — 27 percent — said they subsequently lost their job when the false information was later discovered. An additional 3 percent said they were not offered a job after their resume padding was uncovered.

Resume padding involves presenting false or misleading information about one's education, work experience, professional credentials, job skills or other important personal data.

"With the Internet, employers now have more means to verify information on a resume," said Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney and editor with FindLaw.com. "Even connections with other people via social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn can reveal inconsistencies with the information that you are presenting to employers. In this age of social networking, people need to be careful not only that their information is truthful and accurate, but also that they are not saying one thing to one person or company, and something different to someone else — whether it's an employer, prospective employer, friend, family member or acquaintance."

"As the headlines show time after time, presenting false personal or professional information to an employer is grounds for termination," continued Rahlfs. "Our survey found that when someone provides false information on a resume, more than one-third of the time — 36 percent — the deception is later discovered. And the most common result is the loss of a job."

Free information on legal "do's and don'ts" and what information employers are legally allowed to inquire about during background checks on prospective employees can be found at FindLaw.com's Employment Law section at http://employment.findlaw.com/hiring-process/job-applications-interviews or www.findlaw.com.

The FindLaw survey was conducted using a demographically balanced group of 1,000 American adults and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percent.

Note to editors: Full survey results are available upon request.


Michelle Croteau

SOURCE FindLaw.com