Who among us hasn’t “embellished” a little bit when putting together a resume? Maybe just adding little but extra juice to an achievement? Or naming a skill that you aren’t really as proficient in as you claim? We all look for that little thing that might put us over the top when it comes to other job applicants.
These people over on “Ask Reddit,” however, they went above and beyond. They not only flat-out lied on their resumes, their lies actually succeeded!
These replied to the question, “People who lie on their resumes, what’s your greatest achievement?” should be must-viewing for anyone looking to land a new job. Because hey, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
Here are some of their best “success” stories…
I’m an architect, and I lied on my resume and said I was excellent at using a certain BIM software. I did know how to use it, but only for the basics, I figured with normal use and with my knowledge of other similar software I would pick up the rest. Turns out part of my job was going to be training one of the firm’s directors with how to use this BIM software.
I had a month before I was going to start working for the new firm, so I spent all my free time that entire month doing a ton of tutorials to learn enough so that I could teach this director.
Turned out the director is completely computer illiterate, he was still drawing his plans and sections by hand and then having a tech draw them up in autocad. He got frustrated and quit (trying to learn the software, not the firm) after a few lessons, and I managed to get away with that lie. ~ stone_opera
On my resume I say that I have a computer science degree. Not only do I not have a college degree I never graduated high school and do not even have a GED.
Someone asked me for a writing sample. I sent them a report that I actually did prepare, but it was a template that wasn’t developed by me. Worked too; got the job. ~ jacksonstew
To get my first job, I said I was 20, had 3 years experience in the industry, had put down a certain address of a nice house in the neighborhood where the business was, so they would think I lived there (but asked that all my mail go to my Post Office box), had gone to college for two years and wanted the night job to continue attending school.
In actuality I was 16, had zero experience in anything, had moved out of an abusive home and was living rough between friends’ couches and sleeping outdoors, needed to work nights because I was finishing the 11th grade.
My boss eventually caught on, but by then I had proven myself. I explained the truth of my situation, and he let me stay. When I went for my second ever job, he gave me a glowing reference and I had 2 years of work experience to legitimately put on my resume. I’ve never lied since. ~ JessicaGriffin
Coming out of University only having had a couple of part time/Saturday jobs (none of the managers I kept in touch with) so one of my references was Brennan Huff (played by Will Ferrell in Step Brothers). Luckily I was good enough/they were desperate enough not to phone my references. ~ ScoutingGod
I didn’t have a legit job for six years but I was trying to get my photography business up and running. So instead of saying I have a six year work gap I just list that I was doing freelance photography during that time. In all honesty I did do a couple weddings and stuff but I never really charged people enough because of my lack of confidence. ~ thedebster99
I shamefully got one job by pretending to have a PhD. It was a teaching job at a university, and they didn’t question the photocopy of my ‘diploma’ because it was only the office staff dealing with it, and they didn’t bother to check to see if it was real.
The reason I got away with it in the beginning was because I have an article published under my name as “Dr …” for some screwed up reason. The database where you can find my publications seems to have taken the Dr title for all of them, so a quick check shows that I am indeed a Dr in my field.
After two months, I felt so terribly guilty over the whole thing that I went to the head of the faculty and confessed all. She didn’t say a thing, only listened, and told me to come back next week. I went back, expecting to be fired on the spot – instead, she asked me if I wanted to do a doctorate.
It turned out that she was impressed by my published work, and that she couldn’t understand why I wasn’t already a PhD judging by my work and my publications.
Unfortunately, the stipend was just too low to live on, so we agreed to mutually part ways at the end of the semester. Still, she pulled a few strings for me and I’m now doing it part time almost for free.
Amazing how telling the truth works. ~ thebarbershopwindow
I have on my resume that I won an award my company gave out. Which is true…I did win the award…but only because I was on a project team that I was added to about halfway through the project & my part was super minimal. Got a $500 bonus for it, though. ~ fearlessandinventive
I hated my IT job back in the late 90’s, so a friend of mine who managed a sales team at a software company encouraged me to lie on my resume so she could hire and train me to sell. I went through the interview process and even supplied fake references to get through the official process in being vetted out by upper management.
I got the job and it grew into a very successful career for me. If routine background checks and LinkedIn existed back then, there is no way I’d have the opportunities or success I have today. Sometimes a white lie pays off. ~ doctor-rumack
Not really a lie, but on my resume I list 2 years of community college followed by 2 years of state university for computer science.
The reality, is that I attended college for 4 years part time while working full time to support myself without taking out loans. I dropped out for a year when I couldn’t pay tuition, got an entry level job doing late night tech support / automating office tasks that quickly turned into a full blown software dev gig.
I technically only completed 2 full years worth of credits. I never say that I graduated on my resume, just where I went and what my declared major was. I let the interviewer assume. That was good enough to land me an entry level job and many interviewers don’t bother to directly ask if I graduated. They’ll often ask about what I learned there and school projects which I can answer honestly (C, C++, Java, Unix, Sql ect…).
That said I’m currently a software engineer with 11 years of experience and a trail of happy clients and references. In all those years I’ve been HR blocked exactly once for it and that position was eliminated shipped to India about a year after I got turned down. ~ yojimbojango
I said that I had 3 years experience in CS. They didn’t ask if I meant Computer Science or Counter Strike, but damn it I wanted that entry level call center position and I got it. ~ OhGodDammitPope
Check out the rest of the resume fibs over at Reddit.
Resume image by Shutterstock