While Googling to see if any of my colleagues received any visible publicity from a previous blog post about lying on resumes, I came across a couple of blog posts that were from college students who were blogging for a class. They had apparently read an article about lying on resumes and were writing their response.
I was particularly interested in this post by Amy, who mentions a "sparse" resume as one possible motivator for people to lie on their resume. I agree that this is probably a big reason for lying on resumes. When confronted with a job posting listing a laundry list of "requirements," some job applicants become intimidated, feeling their work history or experience is inadequate. So they "embellish" it.
I think we need to do a better job as an industry of educating the public about how to transform their life experience (including volunteer work, internships, and educational credentials) into useful material on the resume.
As a personal example, I am working on a resume for a woman who is seeking a nonprofit position after being out of the workforce for several years. I was able to secure information from her on her early work history (not relevant, except for one internship at the Red Cross), and educational background (including a Masters Degree in Public Administration). But it wasn't until I was almost finished putting together her resume that I found out that she manages her husband's non-profit foundation (and that he's a professional athlete).
Maybe we need to get better at asking questions too! *smile*