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Does Your Résumé Tell the Truth?

Former RadioShack CEO David Edmondson isn't the only one guilty of inflating his résumé. A study finds inaccuracies on résumés are widespread.

Former church pastor David Edmondson resigned Monday as president and chief executive of RadioShack after he confessed to claiming two college degrees on his reacute;sumeacute; when in fact he had none. Before you cast stones at Edmondson, though, realize that reacute;sumeacute; inflation is widespread.

Nearly half of all reacute;sumeacute;s contain at least one significant inaccuracy when they describe dates of employment, job titles and education. This is according to a recent study by, a reacute;sumeacute;-writing service in South Burlington, Vt.

It may seem easy to lie on your reacute;sumeacute; in an age where former employers rarely give character references for fear of labor lawsuits. Yet, dates of employment and job titles are the two pieces of information an old boss usually will provide to prospective employers.

Checking on your academic background only takes a call to the registrar's office of your alma mater to confirm if you really attended and got that degree. Dates of employment, job titles and education "are the three areas you don't want to lie about because it's so easy to verify," says Brad Fredericks, co-founder of


It's natural to want to put your best foot forward. Fredericks has seen people extend job tenures on their reacute;sumeacute;s to obscure how long they have actually spent unemployed. Or jobseekers will round up three years of university experience into a college degree. Fredericks recently had to talk a client out of listing a sham degree he earned from a diploma mill on his reacute;sumeacute;. Or some even turn that lowly assistant's job into an executive post. In fact, inflating a job title is the most prevalent form of reacute;sumeacute; fraud, he says. gets about 2,000 reacute;sumeacute;s a day. Six months ago, Fredericks randomly picked 1,000 reacute;sumeacute;s to verify their accuracy. He found 42.7% had at least one error and 12.6% contained two or more inaccuracies.

Honesty is the best policy with a Google search at prospective employers' fingertips. "Once it goes out on the Internet, it stays out there for a very long time, and it's tough to change it and undo the damage later on," Fredericks says. His advice: "Stick to the facts. Make sure you are very clear about what you put on your reacute;sumeacute;."