By Allyson Banks, Guest Blogger —
Have you ever lied about your skills on your resume to try and land that dream job? Well, the younger you are, the more likely it is that you have. According to a survey conducted on 1003 working professionals published on Inc., 11 percent of millennials claimed to be dishonest on their resumes, compared to an even larger number of 14 percent of Gen Z members. Only 2 percent of Baby Boomers have claimed to do the same. Also, only 27 percent of millennials felt guilty about their misleading resumes.
These lies tend to involve minor alterations to work experience, like start and end dates of jobs: around 38 percent claimed to lie about their work experience, while 31 percent lied about their employment dates, primarily to conceal any obvious gaps in their work history. Of more concern is 16 percent lied about their job title, and 15 percent lied about their references.
However, those who did lie on their resumes didn’t seem to suffer any negative consequences: 55 percent of millennials who admitted to lying said they’d do it again, while 63 percent of Gen Z respondents said the same.
What are some reasons for this trend? Firstly, Gen Z has become more self-aware and self-reflective, noticing what they lack and looking for ways to address them. They’re no longer complacent and are always pushing forward and striving for innovation, and many companies have taken notice. For instance, Nike’s recent efforts in targeting women in sports has featured powerful young athletes like Simone Biles and Chloe Kim to illustrate their struggles in the sporting world. As a result, their message has empowered women to participate in sports with increased self-confidence and self-esteem. Furthermore, Maryville University has partnered with the likes of Boeing and Edward Jones to develop degrees for careers that have yet to emerge – anticipating the needs of a society that’s growing more reliant on technology. As such, they are aiding students by opening up the job market through various partnerships with companies.
Learning from past generations is a huge part of Gen Z’s collective consciousness, and this is seemingly reflected in how they apply for jobs and how they present themselves. Apparently, this generational difference between millennials and older generations extends to the ability to fall for scams. Oddly enough, despite this growing awareness of technology, it turns out that they’re still more likely to fall for scams than the generations that preceded them. In a previous article on fraudulent money-making schemes by Kaiden Waldram, they state “40 percent of Americans in their twenties reported that they had lost money to these schemes. In contrast, surprisingly only 18 percent of people in their 70’s stated that they had lost money to fraudsters.”
In the end, it all comes down to where you draw the line when it comes to stretching the truth. Inc. claims that according to HR experts, extreme lies such as claiming that you worked at a company you never did is quite rare, probably due to easy detection. On the other hand, slight exaggerations in job skills and titles are quite common. Due to the competitive nature of today’s job market, Gen Z individuals may feel like they need to paint better pictures of themselves to get ahead. In fact, a global Gen Z survey published on IndustryWeek found that 36 percent of those surveyed think that they “had it the hardest” entering the workforce, compared to previous generations — and maybe that’s how they justify their “little” white lies.
If verifying truth really does matter to organizations, then one way they can validate if job applicants are telling the truth on their resume is with EyeDetect. EyeDetect is a 15-30 minute true/false test that detects deception by measuring involuntary eye behavior. (Note: The Employee Polygraph Protection Act prohibits using lie detectors like EyeDetect in private companies in the U.S. However, U.S. federal, state and municipal government employees or contractors may be tested.)