A new study says people are less likely to lie about big things on resumes they post on the professional network LinkedIn compared with traditional resumes.
But the study, from researchers at Cornell University, says people are actually more deceptive about their interests and hobbies — things that are more difficult to verify.
The study says that websites such as LinkedIn can lead to greater honesty when it comes to resume claims such as experience and responsibilities. That's because claims are more easily verified in a public, online setting, so liars are more likely to get caught.
That said, people "still found ways to make themselves look better," by fibbing about harder-to-verify claims such as personal interests, said Jamie Guillory, graduate student at Cornell and lead author of the study. After all, it's not easy to check whether you really like skydiving, as your resume says, or prefer sitting on the couch with your cat eating potato chips, as the truth might be.
Overall, lies were common no matter what resume format people used. On average, the study's participants, all college students, lied nearly three times in their profile. About 92 percent of the participants lied at least once and the highest number of lies they told was eight. But Guillory said these were not so much "outright lies" such as making up false information, but more like exaggerations or leaving things out.
The study was published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking this week. The researchers followed 119 college students aged 18 to 22. Each was randomly assigned to create a traditional resume, a private LinkedIn resume or a public one.