More Than a Quarter of People Under 40 Lie on Their Resume — Here’s Why

A hiring manager has a job to do, and that job is to make sure the people they interview are qualified for their job opening. Most hiring executives rely on the applicant’s resume to tell them the information they need to know. But what if the resume isn’t entirely accurate? According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 58% of employers have discovered a lie on a resume.

According to a recent report from the online learning platform Udemy, only 7% of people over 40 said that they lied about their credentials on their resume. When it came to people under the age of 40, it went up to 26%.

“The nature of jobs is quickly changing with automation, globalization, government policies, and other factors, making it impossible for anyone to predict which skills a job will require in the future,” Udemy CEO Kevin Johnson said in a news release.

For starters, many people feel like they need to stand out, and they have to do that with their resumes. According to the former head of human resources at Google, Laszlo Bock, his team received 50,000 resumes a week. How are you going to get an employer to notice you in a big pile like that?

Another reason for this “embellishment” on resumes is that people feel like they don’t have the knowledge or training to meet the job qualifications. Among the 1,000 American workers surveyed by Udemy, 79% of them feel there is a skills shortage in the workplace due to a changing job market.

When it comes to how specific generations are impacted, 43% of millennials feel personally affected by this gap in skills. This is compared to 38% of generation X and 23% of baby boomers. Udemy’s head of learning and development, Shelley Osborne, says that the higher impact on younger people could be due to the increase of artificial intelligence.

“My suspicion is that people lie on their resume because they want to get in the door, get that job and then show up,” says Osborne. “They know they can re-skill and learn new things on the job and they know they can use their resume as their entry point. People need to develop this mentality and growth mindset where they are always learning, picking up new skills and adapting, because in five years some roles will be obsolete.”

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