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This Is the Biggest Lie People Put on Their Resume A new survey says one in three people have lied during the hiring process. Are you one of them?

By Jonathan Small

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Do you ever find yourself fudging the truth on your resume?

You're not alone. surveyed 1,250 Americans about what they've lied about when looking for a job. Seventy-two percent admitted to lying on their resume.

The biggest lie was about education, with 44% of respondents saying they stretched the truth regarding their academic bona fides.

Years of experience marked the second biggest falsehood, and skills or abilities rang in third.

"People lie during the hiring process when they don't have the all the required skills, education or experience, but feel that they can embellish or lie in order to secure the position," says Stacie Haller, Chief Career Advisor at

"They know that the company will not verify their education or their skills, and they simply hope to make their way through the process without being found out."

Haller says that the numbers have increased in recent years "as our culture is seemingly becoming more accepting of lying."

Related: How to Tell If Someone Is Lying From a Psychologist Who Trains the FBI

Lies during the job interview

The lying game doesn't end with the resume.

Sixty-eight percent of survey respondents also came clean about being dishonest during their job interviews, with men playing Pinnochio ( 71%) more than women (65%).

The number 1 lie told during an interview? Years of experience. People also lied about their skills, abilities, and responsibilities at previous jobs.

Respondents admitted to being dishonest in their job applications, too, with 30% saying they've lied about their race or ethnicity.

The reason was unclear.

"More research is needed to understand why candidates are choosing to answer voluntary self-identification questions incorrectly," Haller said. "These questions are asked on applications in part so that an organization can create a diverse and equitable workforce. If candidates are lying, this may hinder their efforts."

Is it ok to lie a little?

The results of the survey may make it seem like it's not only acceptable to lie a little when applying for a job — you'd be a fool not to.

Lying pays off — literally. Sixty-five percent of respondents say lying in the hiring process helped them land a higher salary.

But Haller disputes the notion that lying is just par for the course.

She says that getting caught in a lie can have serious consequences.

"As a recruiter, when I have found out a candidate was lying on a resume or during the interview process, I would no longer work with them. Recruiters, headhunters, hiring managers, and HR professionals will remember you if you are caught lying, and this can follow a candidate for several years."

So next time you use alternative facts on your resume, job application, or interview, consider this: Is it better to be truthful and remembered as an honest employee, or lie and risk the chance of soiling your career and reputation?

Jonathan Small

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

Founder, Write About Now Media

Jonathan Small is an award-winning author, journalist, producer, and podcast host. For 25 years, he has worked as a sought-after storyteller for top media companies such as The New York Times, Hearst, Entrepreneur, and Condé Nast. He has held executive roles at Glamour, Fitness, and Entrepreneur and regularly contributes to The New York Times, TV Guide, Cosmo, Details, Maxim, and Good Housekeeping. He is the former “Jake” advice columnist for Glamour magazine and the “Guy Guru” at Cosmo.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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