‘Padding’ resume not advised

May 15, 2012

Many moms who return to college to obtain a bachelor's degree look forward to the day they graduate and can start the career they've always dreamed of.

Whether you paid for your education yourself, depended on various grants for parents or college scholarships or took out loans, earning a regular paycheck is another part of graduating that is highly anticipated. Even better, with a degree in hand, experts say you'll boost your earning potential significantly. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011, individuals with a bachelor's degree made an average of $1,053 per week, compared to $768 per week for those with an associate degree, $719 per week for those with some college (but no degree) and $638 per week for those with a high school diploma.

However, finding the right job can be a challenge for anyone - college graduate or not. Although the most recent unemployment data released by the U.S. government shows that college grads are faring better in the current job market. While the current jobless rate for those over the age of 25 stands at 6.8 percent, it is lower (4.0 percent) for individuals with a bachelor's degree or higher. On the other hand, the jobless rate is higher for those who started, but never finished college (7.6 percent) or only have a high school diploma (7.9 percent).

A difficult job market has caused some people to "pad" their resumes in hopes of making themselves appear to be a stronger candidate.

In fact, a 2010 study by HireRight revealed that 69 percent of employers said they had personally caught someone lying on their resume. Additionally, ABC News reports that a 2008 CareerBuilder.com survey revealed that 8 percent of 8,785 Americans polled admitted to padding their resumes. The most common lie has to do with education, ResumePower.com's founder Kim Isaacs told CNN.

While telling what you believe to be a "little white lie" on your resume may seem like an easy way to make you stand out to potential employers, experts say beware. Companies of all sizes routinely run background checks on applicants.

"You won't believe what our searches turn up every day," Joel Goldberg, a spokesperson for Aurico Reports, a background screening firm, told ABC News. "A good one-third have a pretty significant lie."

Job experts say that if you're caught misrepresenting yourself or your credentials, they won't even consider you.

"Lying on a resume or in an interview is the kiss of death," recruiter Nancy Keene told ABC News.

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