Opinion: Is it a surprise millennials are most likely to lie on their resumes?

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By Greg Gerber
Editor, RV Daily Report

I had to chuckle last night when I saw a news story about how millennials are the most likely generation to fudge facts on their resumes.

To determine how often most people lie on resumes and about what, personal finance website GoBankingRates.com surveyed more than 1,000 people of various age groups and found that, for the most part, people actually tell the truth, according to Fox Business.

A mere 5 percent of respondents admitted to lying on resumes and applications. However, millennials were twice as likely to fib at 11 percent. Older baby boomers aged 65 and older were the most honest on their resumes, with only 2 percent admitting to putting down false information.

Isn’t this to be expected?

From the moment they entered first grade carrying their superhero and princess lunch boxes, members of the millennial generation were told repeatedly what a special group they were.

They could not fail!

Teachers told me they had to use green or purple pens to grade papers because the “experts” determined red ink would cause too much stress and damage their pupils’ self esteem.

Members of the millennial generation were the first to get trophies for simply participating in sports or some other activity. In fact, some sports leagues stopped keeping score to prevent losers from feeling like losers.

Fast forward to 2019 and we now see that one in nine millennials consider it okay to lie on job applications and resumes.

For them, they cannot be seen as average. They are all exceptional, as though they were raised in Garrison Keillor’s legendary Lake Wobegon where “all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.”

Those millennials who admit to lying, most often fudge in these areas:

  • Work experience (38%) — No surprise here. Many of their parents never required them to get jobs as kids.
  • Dates of employment (31%) — The generation that had the most difficulty launching into adulthood must fudge facts to cover up for periods of unemployment or short-stint jobs after reality finally caught up to their actual abilities.
  • Job titles (16%) — The article indicates that millennials who lie, lie about internship experience in order to impress recruiters. Could that be why they often have short periods of employment because they conned their way into jobs for which they were not qualified?

We need to give the millennials a break. It really isn’t their fault. They were the unknowing pawns in a great social experiment.

Many people in that generation have already come to the conclusion that they were lied to as kids and teens, and they are working to assimilate into adulthood. And they are doing a fine job.

But some members of that generation just seem to have trouble getting out of the gate.

They were given a great deal, but denied so much at the same time. They had access to every type of technology, but their schedules were so micro-managed that they didn’t have a chance to play independently.

The bar for success was lowered so much that these millennials never really experienced failure. Most were so involved in sports and activities — or parked behind a screen of some type at home — that they never had jobs as teens. They were never fired or told their job performance needed improvement.

They were taught to the lowest common denominator in school and everyone was required to take “gifted and talented” classes, even though they were not gifted or talented in those areas.

They were told the only way to be successful was to go into debt to get a college degree so they could commute an hour each morning and evening to work in some cubicle using someone else’s computer.

They were never encouraged to embrace a skilled trade where they could work with their hands and see the final results or progress of their effort every day.

They were not taught to think (can you say “new math”), rather they were told what to think about.

It doesn’t help when parents like Lori Loughlin act like bulldozers to clear the way for their children rather than requiring the kids to set a goal, work to achieve it, and bask in the success of accomplishment — or experience the sting of failure so they can regroup and try again.

The best thing members of older generations can do now is befriend and mentor their millennial co-workers, if the younger folks will allow it.

We need to encourage them to really set the bar high and work to achieve their goals.

We need to assure them that failure doesn’t mean final, it only means it didn’t work out the way he or she tried the first time.

We need to stop rewarding them for simply showing up, and genuinely praise their noteworthy accomplishments.

We need to let them know that they do not have to be perfect at absolutely everything, but really work to develop those talents they do have a penchant for performing.

There are MANY valuable members of the millennial generation in the workplace today. Honestly, their youthful enthusiasm and new ideas are pushing us older folks to do more than we thought we could do.

Still, I think it is important to help younger workers to better understand that it’s okay to take off their masks and simply be themselves. They don’t need to lie to be accepted.

Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber

A journalist who has covered the recreation vehicle industry since January 2000, Greg Gerber founded RV Daily Report on April Fool's Day in 2009. He also serves as the editor of the publication and website. As an Eagle Scout, he has enjoyed camping for decades and has visited every state except Hawaii. A DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three young women, he has two grandchildren as well. He currently splits his time between Wisconsin, Texas and Arizona. Greg can be reached at editor@rvdailyreport.com.

Leave a Comment

  • squeakytiki says:

    “The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”


    Complaining about the younger generations is nothing new.

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