Speaking strictly of software industry

There are two kinds of lying.

  • Lie about language/framework you don’t know
  • Lying about qualification, company you worked with, title held, etc.

The first kind of lying is fine as long as you’re confident you can crack the interview. Your knowledge is needed and these days, since companies anyway want everything, lying about some language may get you an interview call.

Do not evet lie about second type. Most companies conduct a background check on you to verify about your details. They even sometimes connect with your previous employer to verify the details.

If you’re lying here you can land in a big trouble

ZILtoid1991 avatar

Does the NDA trick work for the second kind?

"I worked for 2-3 years part time and remote to a company, but I was forced to sign an NDA about it."


Nope, don’t even try it.

They generally hire external agency who has their ways to verify every possible details.


Jesus, all the people here saying never to lie on your resume must live pretty privileged lives.

Yes, its okay to lie, if you can back it up.

For example, I know just about everything there is about computers/sysadmin there is under the sun (im a born computer geek) but I never had any official degrees for it. I lied and said I had most of the CompTIA certifications and not a single person ever asked to actually see it. I already know everything that’s in those books so it’s not like I didn’t have the knowledge, I just didn’t have the stupid piece of paper, that, again, no one ever asked for.

Most employers are going to be exploiting your labor anyways so if you can take advantage of them you should, because they certainly going to be taken advantage of you, and you shouldn’t feel bad for them.

As others have said, just keep it reasonable and don’t lie yourself into a corner. If you don’t know rocket science don’t say you do and obvious things like that.


I’ve never been coached to lie on my resume.

I’ve never put anything false on my resume.

I’m glad to have not worked for a company where that’s cool, or knowingly worked with scumbags who lie about their qualifications.

Sure, my resume sucks, but it’s at least accurate.

Lettuceeatlettuce, avatar

Totally depends on the employer. Some are hardcore, many aren’t. I used to be in the IT field, one of the companies I worked for hired a guy who claimed he had 10 years of IT experience. He got fired after 3 days because apparently he couldn’t even install a printer on people’s computers.

If he was able to get past the interview, then anybody can lol. Better not to outright lie, but embellish for sure, just be ready to try to sound like you know the basics at least. Often, calling things fancy names is enough to get by, here’s some examples:

  1. Set up a Minecraft server for you and you friends? Try <Experience with server setup & management>
  2. Added RAM to your grandma’s 10 year old computer once? Try <Computer hardware upgrade and repair experience>

Seems stupid, but trust me, it works with HR all the time. And once you get into the interview, you can add details to flesh out your experience better. A lot of it is how you say something, not what you say.

Don’t say, “I set up a Minecraft server once for my friends to play.” Say something like, “I spun up a Minecraft server instance for my friends and I to utilize. I managed scheduled software updates and patches for the server, verified the disk health and hardware usage, and set up regular backups for the world files and resources.” Doesn’t matter that your hardware monitoring was just Windows Task Manager and your scheduled backups and updates were just Windows Restore point and Microsoft updates, most staff will just hear that description and move on, especially if you add a little banter, they will normally just go, “ah cool” and keep going down the list.

Obviously this varies based on the job experience level, but for entry level jobs to get your foot in the door, it works very well.


I have an interview coming up. Can I get you to dress up as me and go to the interview?

Lettuceeatlettuce, avatar

Lol I would if I could.


To be fair, printers are ass

Lettuceeatlettuce, avatar

True, but I don’t mean he couldn’t get a printer to work. I mean apparently he didn’t even know how to add one to an employees computer.

Printers are the devil’s imps though lol.


Yeah, I figured that’s what you meant. Hardest part of connecting a printer these days is just fighting with the four-dimensional nature of USB ports

LUHG_HANI, avatar

I’d say forget usb on printers but networked printers are the devil’s child. Some of the things I’ve seen from these printer manufacturers are absolutely insane.

Who the fuck wants a coversheet printed before the page they asked for? Nobody, so let’s default it and bury it behind a million advanced settings. Xerox wankers.

HP: Goes to sleep, never automatically wakes up properly. Enterprise grade £500+ POS Ohh and Airprint, Good fucking luck.

Oki: Might as well buy 2 as that’s cheaper than replacing the drums after a few months.

Brother is the only brand I’ll buy that’s not MFD under maintenance contract now.


No if you deliver on your lie, or are good enough in creating an appearance of delivering on your lie.


I don’t think it requires lying. I do think you can advance yourself faster by doing some lying, but you should stick to things that aren’t actually job related. Length of time working jobs, increasing your previous job titles by a level, making your roles sound more critical are all good ones. Saying you can do something that you cannot can definitely get you in to trouble if they decide to ask you about it, or worse, you get hired and then they need you to apply the skill you don’t actually have.

That being said, I have seen people straight up lie about their qualifications, get the job, flounder for a while and then become at least minimally capable and then hold the job long term. If you consider trying this, at least have a fall back plan for if you get fired.

Kecessa, (edited )

I’ve got a funny story about that last paragraph!

A man I know who’s retired now worked as a teacher for years in the 80s/early 90s because the secretary had to look in the phonebook for the phone number of the person that actually applied for the job. She tried the first person with the same name and he just went with it. He winged it during the interview, got the job and his sister who was a teacher taught him how to do it 😂

orca, avatar

Lying only paints you into a corner. It also means you’ll probably get saddled with work that doesn’t suit you.


Why do you think it requires you to lie? If you’re lying on your resume it’s (I can only assume) you are not actually qualified for the position you are applying for. I also assume that you are at more of an entry level in terms of your skills/qualifications. Is that accurate?

If you have success with that strategy good for you, but I’ll caution others - as you get further in your career, interviews get longer and more in depth. If you say you know how to do something, you are often asked technical questions on that thing, or in-depth questions on how you’d implement that thing/skill/strategy/into the position. As others have said lying and embellishing are not the same thing. You can oversell your skill to a degree, but be prepared to need to put in extra work (probably off the clock and in your own time) to get yourself to the skill level you said you had. You may not need to! But in some positions, you may be RELIED on for that skill you’re not as good at as you said you were.

Also - UPDATE your resume and keep it current. If you learned a new thing and can do it, put it on there before you forget you did it. Also, prioritize. Remove old things from your resume as you get further into your career and those skills/accomplishments are less impactful or Relevant. Replace with newer things. Keep track of what’s going on in your field and stay up to date with buzz words and topics and be able to speak to them even if it’s not your area of expertise.


I wanted to hire a guy and then we found a lie on his resume. He said he had graduated but in fact he had a few weeks left to graduate. He would have the degree by the time he started the position. Our agency wouldn’t touch him after that. A lie on the resume was a deal killer.

If he said “Degree expected on <date>” rather than I have a degree he would have the job now.

parrot-party avatar

Probably not. HR would have just pre filtered him anyway.


If he could prove he was graduating in a matter of weeks then that’s fucking ridiculous. I was accepted to grad schools before I even passed my final undergrad classes. It’s just on a conditional basis, but nothing changed when I actually got the degree. Besides, there’s time between the last classes ending and commencement, then months between commencement and getting the actual degree in the mail and your transcripts being updated.

I’m hope he feels like he dodged a bullet.


Did you lie and say you had already passed?

ArtieShaw avatar

At some point, the question becomes: was the candidate too unqualified to understand what they were applying for?

I don't mind training someone if they're not 100% up to speed but they also need to be capable of learning and retaining things. A lot of that means that you need a foundation based on education and on the job learning. In other words, I'm not going to teach foundational shit that you should have picked up in high school.

One memorable example: we had one applicant who claimed a high degree of competence and related experience - and although I had some doubts during the interview I was realistic about the job market and our chances of finding someone who was a perfect match. She was personable, seemed smart, and had worked in the industry. How hard would it be to train her? If she could manage to pick up even the most basic parts of the workload it would be win to hire her.

A short list of what we learned

  • no bachelor's degree (our manager was livid when she found out about that one)
  • no understanding of basic science (like, "temperature is not measured as a percentage" basic science)
  • a week into the job, asked when she was going to "start doing X," even though the job description was "you're going to be doing Y and Z." To be fair (?), the words describing X and Y were fairly similar and you might mistake one for the other if you had a poor grasp on either of them.

I'm going to gloss over a lot of irrelevant (but horrifying) detail here. We did have one memorable conversation where she said, "I'm so glad I applied for this job even though I wasn't qualified. You never know where you can get by trying!"

Where she eventually got was fired, but that took some time and the damage she did is still legendary. Part of that legacy of raging incompetence is that we fact-check resumes in ways that we previously did not. But the great irony is that she probably had no idea of just how unqualified she actually was. Again, the question becomes: is the candidate too unqualified to understand what they were applying for?

Fizz, avatar

Companies lie on their job ads so I think its perfectly fair. I wouldn’t go and say I can do a skill that I can’t but I don’t think it’s wrong to say I can do x even though i have no qualifications or professional experience in it.


If they ask for 10 years experience in a technology only released 5 years ago you could claim spending the last 40 years of your free time on the analysis of early 21st century literature if you are only 30 years old but they would probably be upset that you pointed out their stupidity.


Depends on the place, but most don’t seem to care if you embellish your credentials as long as you’re able to do the job. A lot of job postings overstate what the job requires anyway.


It’s all relative, depending on the place your applying at, the lie in the resume, the hiring manager…

But the biggest reason is because the resume is usually used as a filter to filter out people who definitely won’t be hired. And in job postings companies usually ask for more than what they need.

Once you have the first real interview (i.e. not the phone screen) they’ll be able to tell if you don’t have enough knowledge for the position. And then you’re no worse off than prior to the interview.

But if they think you do have enough knowledge than who cares about the lie…


Employers love it because it gives them plausible legal cover for two essential freedoms:

If they like you anyway, they can hire you and defend any discrimination claims with the fact that you had the strongest resume.

Whenever they stop liking you, they can expose the lie and fire you on the spot for good cause.

So really, it's a win-win situation for both you and your prospective employer.

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