Resumé Liars Club

According to recent studies and our own experience, resumé fraud is epidemic and the phenomenon has ruined the careers of executives and embarrassed otherwise prestigious organizations by damaging reputations and shareholder value. We chronicled this problem in our article, Resumé Fraud: The Top Ten Lies, which was based upon an analysis of cases and our own experience in conducting numerous executive screening due diligence exercises over the years. Our analysis concludes that the top ten resumé lies are as follows:
  • Stretching Dates of Employment
  • Inflating Past Accomplishments & Skills
  • Enhancing Titles & Responsibilities
  • Exaggerating Education and Fabricating Degrees
  • Unexplained Gaps & Periods of "Self Employment"
  • Omitting Past Employment
  • Faking Credentials
  • Falsifying Reasons for Leaving Prior Employment
  • Providing Fraudulent References
  • Misrepresenting Military Record

Based upon our own experience of more than 30 years of vetting senior executives of companies all over the world, together with the available empirical data, we believe that about one third – or 33 percent of resumes, contain material omissions or misstatements of one kind or another. If you want more evidence of the magnitude of the problem, here are some other statistics:

  • CareerBuilder’s 2014 survey revealed that 58% of hiring managers reported they had caught a lie on a resume and one-third (33%) of these employers have seen an increase in resume embellishments post-recession;
  • ADP’s 2009 study of some 5.5 million background investigations showed discrepancies in 46 percent of the educational, employment and/or reference checks, up from 45 percent in 2008 and 41 percent in 2007. 
  • An October 2006 survey conducted by found that 18 percent of job applicants admitted to lying on their resumé.
  • The same survey said that 57 percent of hiring managers claim to have caught lies on a candidate's application.
  • A 2004 Society for Human Resources Management survey of personnel directors found that nearly 90 percent reported that they had been subjected to resumé fraud and that 61 percent had found inaccuracies “often” or “sometimes.”
  • A 2003 study by the placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas found that 52% of the 249,000 resumes analyzed contained discrepancies
  • ADP’s 2001 survey of some 2.3 million background checks concluded that 44 percent of job applicants lied about their work histories, 41 percent lied about their educational backgrounds and 23 percent falsified credentials or professional licenses.
  • Another survey, conducted in 2001 by search firm Christian & Timbers of some 7,000 applicants for executive positions, found that 23 percent had misrepresented themselves.
  • According to the FBI, nearly half a million people in the US falsely claim to have college degrees.
On this page we have assembled a compendium of publicized cases involving many prominent - and some not so prominent - individuals misrepresenting their backgrounds and getting caught. The reader will note that the overwhelming majority of these cases involve faked or misrepresented educational backgrounds. There also seem to be an inordinate number of athletic coaches on the list for some reason. The Resumé Liars Club is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list as there are thousands of untold stories not included here. We have attempted to be as accurate as possible in the facts of the cases, based upon published reports. If you have a question, comment or candidate for the Resumé Liars Club, please e-mail us the details for consideration to

Resumé Liars Club Index