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Bending the truth in your resume can be a double-edged sword. It may help you get the job you apply for, while getting caught bending the truth can come back to bite you years later. Depending on the truth you bend, you might cause legal issues for yourself, especially if you are bidding for a project as a contractor.

It’s sometimes a temptation to exaggerate your experience or give your job title a slight upgrade, but I suggest you think twice before “embellishing” your skills or experience, or you may find yourself looking over your shoulder for years to come.

Background checks are common practice when making hiring decisions, so it is likely that you will be caught out, and it’s foolish to put the effort into applying for a job and going on job interviews, just to lose out because you’ve been dishonest to try and make your resume look more impressive.

Fake it ‘til you make it:

What’s wrong with this strategy? If you are experienced and knowledgeable and you just need a little boost to your confidence to help you get your dream job, you are not really faking anything. This strategy may actually benefit you as it gives you confidence and motivation to move forward. However, if you are really faking your qualification and knowledge when, in reality, you have little or no capability or experience to back up the way you represent yourself on your resume, this will not end well. You will come across as disingenuous and deceitful, and will likely shoot yourself in the foot.

Leave out certain information:

Although you never want to outright lie on your resume, you do want to present yourself in a favorable light. This could mean leaving certain information out. If you are applying for a technical position and you have worked as a shelf stocker at a grocery store, you don’t have to include this in your resume. Doing so will just waste valuable space on your resume that you can use to elaborate on the achievements you had at the relevant jobs.

In addition, sometimes you may want to leave out information that make you seem overqualified for the job you are applying for. The bottom line is you want to leave out information, no matter how impressive, that makes you look like the wrong candidate for the position.

Don’t exaggerate your position:

While you might have done more than your position required and think that you deserve a more senior position, you don’t want to lie about your position. For example, you worked as an intern at a company but worked as hard as your manager. You can’t change your job title from intern to manager on your resume. You can still explain your achievements at the job and demonstrate to your prospective employers that you are a hardworking candidate.

Sometimes it is tempting to stretch the truth a little on your resume. However, if you don’t want to be worried about someone in Human Resource decides to audit their files, don’t lie on your resume.

Get the job without lying:

If you are well-qualified and your skills are in demand, it’s likely you will be able to overcome some obstacles to the land the job you want. Referrals are a good way of boosting your chances of getting hired, even if you do not fit the exact criteria for the role, as a good recommendation goes a long way; so do your best to impress anyone who has influence over the hiring decisions.

If the job you want requires a degree, instead of fabricating one and risking getting caught out, look into how you can actually attain one. There are lots of options available for working professionals to study from home, so why not take up a course in your free time?

 

Photo credit:BlueSkyImage


About Sophie Deering

You can follow Sophie at @SophieDeering.

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