Men, millennials, and liberals more accepting of stretching the truth to get ahead

Paul HiebertData Journalist
March 01, 2019, 3:00 PM GMT+0

Some groups appear more open to fibbing when it comes to their resume and career

Jussie Smollett has been in the headlines a lot lately, but not for anything good. What at first sounded like an alleged hate crime committed against the Empire actor in late January has turned into what authorities are calling an orchestrated hoax meant to promote Smollett’s career and boost his salary.

According to a new YouGov Omnibus survey, 61% of all US adults have been closely following the current events involving Smollett. Only 15% of the general public say they haven’t heard any recent news about the actor and singer.

While the majority of US adults think it’s unacceptable to “stretch the truth” when seeking employment or attempting to advance in their career, data shows that some groups are more open to the idea than others.

Three in 10 (30%) men, for example, consider it acceptable to “stretch the truth” on their resume to get hired for a job, compared to 21% of women. Likewise, 25% of men say it’s acceptable to “stretch the truth” to get ahead in their career, while only 18% of women feel the same.

A similar divide in opinion seems to exist between younger and older Americans. In total, 40% of Millennials say it’s acceptable to bend the truth on their resume, compared to 25% of Gen Xers and 14% of Baby Boomers. More than one-third (35%) of the nation’s young adults also appear okay with exaggerating the facts to advance in their career. Only 21% of Gen Xers and 11% of Baby Boomers agree.

In terms of political ideology, US adults who identify as liberal report being more accepting of twisting the truth to get ahead. Around one in three (31%) liberals say it’s acceptable to “stretch the truth” on their resume to get hired for a job, while nearly one in four (24%) agree it’s acceptable to “stretch the truth” to get ahead in their career. For Americans who identify as conservative, those numbers come in at a lower 19% and 16%, respectively.

Other groups of US adults more accepting of bending the truth to get ahead than the general public include urban dwellers and people who live in the Northeast. Overall, one-third (33%) of urban dwellers think it's acceptable to exaggerate on their resume; 27% consider it okay to "stretch the truth" to get ahead in their career. Among those who reside in the country's Northeast region, 32% say it's acceptable to "stretch the truth" on their resume, while 25% don't see much of a problem with blurring facts to advance at their place of work.

See full survey results here

Learn more about YouGov Omnibus

Image: Getty