The Motivated Millennial: Millennials Lie On Their Resumes. But Why?

April 17 - Sheena Sharma

In today's latest millennial trends... a recent survey carried out by found that millennials are twice as likely to lie on their resumes. Moreover, more than half who do lie don’t feel remorse for doing so.

This is fascinating. Oh, and in case you’re wondering what exactly my peers lie about, here’s a quick list: job titles, college education, dates of employment, work experience, and even – believe it or not – references! (How do you lie about references though? Beats me).

Now, before you guffaw at millennials because lying on your resume is, like, such a millennial thing to do (though I’ve never done it and I promise I’m not lying about lying), it's important to take a look at some facts and figures. This will lead us job seekers and hiring managers alike to answer the question: Why are millennials lying?!

Some Important Numbers to Know About the Job Application Process

To figure out why millennials like, let's break down some stats about the job app process itself:

Corporate job openings typically attract around 250 resumes – but only four to six people will actually get called in for an interview, and from there, only one is chosen for the job.

200: If you find a job posting you think is a perfect fit for you but you’ve arrived to it, say, a week after it was posted, you may be sh*t outta luck: The first resume for any given posting is received within 200 seconds of the job being posted online, AKA the early bird may get the worm (job?)

17: Only 17 percent of recruiters actually read cover letters. (I KNOW. This one made me fume, too!)

6: The average recruiter will take a mere six seconds to glance over a resume. (So you don’t have a lot of time to sell them!)

When one looks at these numbers, it’s easy to see why millennials lie on their resumes. The hiring rate kind of sucks, recruiters are either really lazy or really busy, the Internet is a black hole and we're basically all doubting ourselves 24/7 - much less, against the competition.

Millennials must be thinking, Why put so much effort into my resume if it isn’t going to be treated with respect? The hiring process can often be haphazard – and it looks like we’ve finally caught on.

Only 17 percent of recruiters actually read cover letters.

Here’s How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

The job application process sucks. It’s dehumanizing and arduous. There’s no way around it, really, unless you luck out and meet the right person at the right time, or Still, there are things you can do to increase your chances of scoring an interview for a job posting that speaks to you – and it all comes down to the resume.

Make it pretty. If you’re anything like me, you can write the heck out of anything, but can’t make a written body of work look pretty. No worries, though. One thing you can do to spruce up your resume is to teach yourself how to navigate image-editing programs, like Canva. It has customized templates already laid out so that all you have to do is drop your resume into the template, and bam! It’s instantly prettier.

Consult a resume expert. I know that if you’re unemployed, money’s already tight, and you probably don’t want to spend a couple of hundred bucks on hiring a resume expert to look over your resume.

But it could be worth it! If you’ve been applying to job after job with no invites for interviews, your resume is most likely to blame. Find a resume expert on LinkedIn, which is a great resource. But if you’re broke AF and really can’t afford one, get creative. Recruit your editor friends to give your resume a lookover, and your graphic design friends to help you crank out a pretty header in Photoshop to add to your resume.

Create a story out of your resume. You don’t have to lie to stand out in a sea of applicants. I think a lot of people tend to think small when it comes to their resume, fine-tuning the bulletpoints under each job title. (And you should do that). But if you think small and only small, I encourage you to think more big-picture:

How is each experience you’ve listed on your resume related to the one before it and the one after? Why do they make sense for you in your career trajectory? Do you have a clear sense of what you’ve learned and what more you’d like to learn? (And if you don’t, how do you expect the recruiter to know these things?)

I know when I was feverishly applying to jobs, thinking big-picture changed the game for me. My resume started to get noticed more! The more you can prove why your past experiences make you a perfect fit for the position you’re applying for, the more likely it is that the person reading your resume will feel the flow of your story, too.

Now, go forth and apply! ...And don't lie.

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