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Should You Automatically Be Fired for Lying on a Resume?

Below Deck Mediterranean's Hannah Ferrier discovered Kasey Cohen was no barista. 

Below Deck Mediterranean's chief stew Hannah Ferrier and third stewardess Kasey Cohen had a bit of a problem when Kasey handed over a resume listing herself as a highly skilled barista, along with being an expert on dining on the high seas. Yeah, not so much.

Unfortunately, Hannah caught on — too late — to the lies, and found herself stuck with a stewardess who didn't even know how to make a cup of coffee two hours before charter. Wow.

"I gave my resume to a friend back home who's in yachting to polish it," Kasey had explained. "I barely looked at it, honestly, and I didn't know that silver service or barista training was something so high end... he made me look like a freaking superhuman, and I am not."

Should you be fired for lying on a resume? It depends, says workplace expert Dan Schawbel.

“Most lying has to do with wanting to stand out in a competitive job market,” he says. “People feel they have to embellish in order to stand out, they think ‘if I can appear smarter and more effective maybe I can get the job,’ and if you think or know instinctively others are doing it to, you feel you have to or you can’t compete.”

Dan says it’s not automatically a fireable offense.

“It depends on how extreme the lie is,” he says. “Some employers think if you think get away with it, you’ll continually think you’ll get away with it. But anything extreme — like lying about a degree or your grades or the results you achieved at a former job, or worse, listing an employer you never even worked for are bad. Also, everyone is Googled now, employers using that to screen candidates before they even interview you, so they can tell a lot by what’s online so lying is harder.”

A recent survey from CareerBuilder showed that three in four HR managers (75 percent) report having caught a lie on a resume. The most outrageous? One guy said he worked for Microsoft but had no idea who Bill Gates was.

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