New research has indicated that candidates are less likely to lie on their online job profiles than hard-copy resumes – apparently candidates feel their information is more open to scrutiny when it’s online and are less likely to invent bogus skills and work history as a result.
Interestingly, researchers from Cornell University discovered that while people were less likely to falsify major details on their online professional profiles, they were actually more deceitful about their hobbies and interests than on hard-copy documents – presumably because this kind of information is difficult to disprove. The researchers added that people were adept at finding ways to ‘make themselves look better’. “Skydiving” always sounds better than ‘sitting on the couch’.
However, HR beware: lies are common no matter what resume format people used. A staggering 92% of the study’s participants lied at least once, and the highest number of lies on a single resume was eight. The lead researcher noted that while untruths are common, most are not so much outright lies as exaggerations, omissions or embellishments.
- “Career break in 1999 to renovate my horse”
- “1990 – 1997: Stewardess – Royal Air Force”
- Hobbies: “enjoy cooking Chinese and Italians”
- “2001 summer Voluntary work for taking care of the elderly and vegetable people”
- “I am about to enrol on a Business and Finance Degree with the Open University. I feel that this qualification will prove detrimental to me for future success”