Is it illegal to lie on your resume?

This article is recommended for individuals at any stage of their careers


Having spent many years in recruitment, I understand how much pressure there is to create a great resume in order to stand out from other candidates.

Throughout my career, I've seen job seekers grapple with the need to boost qualifications or overdo achievements in their pursuit to be noticed.

But the question that looms over this practice is: Is it illegal to lie on your resume?

In this blog post, I will delve into the legal aspects of lying on your resume and the potential consequences that may follow.


The importance of honesty | Is it illegal to lie on your resume?

The importance of honesty

Before delving into the legality of lying on a resume, it is essential to highlight the importance of honesty in the job application process.

Resumes serve as a way to show an individual's skills, experience, and qualifications. Employers rely on this information to make informed hiring decisions, ensuring the right fit for their organisations.

Falsifying information can lead to severe consequences, both professionally and legally.

Misrepresentation & fraud

While the act of boosting or exaggerating qualifications on a resume may not be explicitly considered a crime in itself, it can potentially lead to legal repercussions.

In many jurisdictions, lying on a resume can be seen as a form of misrepresentation or fraud.

Misrepresentation occurs when an individual makes false statements or hides information with the intent to deceive others.

By giving false information on a resume, applicants can be held liable for their actions

Misrepresentation & fraud

Legal consequences | Is it illegal to lie on your resume?

Legal consequences

Termination: If an employer discovers that an employee has lied on their resume, it can lead to immediate termination. Employers have the right to terminate an employment contract if they find that an employee provided false information during the hiring process.

Civil Liability: In certain cases, employers may suffer financial losses or reputational damage due to a fraudulent hire. This can give rise to civil lawsuits, where the employer may seek compensation for damages as a result of the employee's dishonesty.

Criminal Charges: In extreme cases involving severe misrepresentations or fabrications, lying on a resume can result in criminal charges. This typically occurs when the falsehoods are directly related to qualifications required by law, such as professional certifications or licenses. Depending on jurisdiction, individuals may face charges such as fraud, forgery, or false statements, carrying potential fines and even imprisonment.

Damage to Professional Reputation: Lying on a resume not only jeopardises a person's current employment but also damages their professional reputation. Word can spread within industry circles, making it difficult to secure future employment opportunities.

Ethical considerations

Beyond the legal implications, it is essential to recognise the ethical dimensions of dishonesty on a resume.

Employers rely on accurate information to assess an applicant's qualifications, skills, and integrity.

By misrepresenting oneself, individuals compromise the trust necessary for successful professional relationships.

Ethical lapses can have long term consequences and hinder career progression.

Ethical considerations

Conclusion | Is it illegal to lie on your resume?


While the question "Is it illegal to lie on your resume?" may not have a straightforward answer, it is clear that the practice can lead to significant legal and professional repercussions.

The best course of action for any job seeker is to maintain honesty and integrity throughout the application process.

Building a successful career is not solely based on fabricated achievements but rather on genuine skills, experience, and a strong work ethic.

By presenting oneself truthfully, individuals can establish a solid foundation for professional growth and success while maintaining personal and professional integrity.

For more information on this topic, I encourage you to read Indeed's article on what happens if you lie on your resume.

Are you looking for a job?

Are you looking for a job?

Now that you know understand whether it is illegal to lie on your resume, you should take a moment to check our current vacancies page.

At 11 Recruitment, we have a range of white-collar temp and perm jobs available. We're always on the lookout for top talent to place with our clients, so we encourage you to apply for any positions that are of interest.

If none of our current vacancies are right for you, you should register for job alerts. Then we’ll be able to notify you when we receive a position that matches your profile.

Christian Madsen

What are your thoughts?

I'd love to have a conversation with you about this topic - please leave a comment below if you have any thoughts or opinions 🙂

Christian Madsen

Managing Director of 11 Recruitment

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}