In today’s tight job market, job seekers strive to stay as competitive as possible. They want to edge out other applicants by showing how and why they are the best fit for the position. They want their resume to be top-notch and align closely with what the employer is seeking. In an attempt to present themselves in the best light, some people incorporate little white lies into their resume, assuming no one will ever find out.
But lying, regardless of how minimal it may seem, can come back to hurt you. Employers have a wealth of resources at their fingertips to research your background and the information you provided. Through the Internet and social media, they can quickly populate a variety of sources that will shed light on who you are and can expose inconsistencies. Here are some common places which job seekers may be tempted to lie on their resumes:
Many job openings have a minimum education requirement for the position. Some people are tempted to lie about their educational background to make it seem as though they are qualified. It is very easy for employers to verify your degree, so saying that you have a bachelor’s or master’s degree when you don’t can quickly raise red flags. Keep in mind that many employers are also willing to consider relevant experience in the absence of a degree. Rather than lying, state that you have taken coursework in XYZ at a specific institution. Also list any professional development courses or certifications to highlight additional training.
You may have assumed some managerial responsibilities, but if your job title was not manager, it is not a good idea to change it as such. Talking to references, checking company websites, or looking on social media can indicate the actual roles you have held. If you did take on higher level tasks, note this in your experience. Elaborate on these projects or tasks and show the results achieved.
Dates of Employment
This is another area that is fairly easy for employers to verify. Using only years on your resume without months is not lying, but make sure you use the correct years. If you are concerned about employment gaps, there are other ways to minimize the impact. For instance, include relevant volunteer work, training, or consulting you may have engaged in during this downtime.
So you’re applying for jobs in a different state but don’t actually live there? Not the best idea to use a friend’s address. If an employer calls you for an interview expecting that you are local and you can’t make it out for a few days, that could be an awkward conversation. Consider including in your cover letter or resume that you are relocating or looking to relocate. The location of your current or most recent job can also be an indicator of where you actually live.
There are many other areas where job seekers may stretch the truth, such as when discussing their role in a project. Be honest. The truth will almost always come out eventually. It is better to be upfront. You don’t want to land a job based on merits that you don’t have and then be expected to attain results that are above your abilities. If you are worried about the way that your resume is coming across and how to best present yourself, contact Chic Resumes for all of your resume writing needs. We will work with you to honestly portray your experience and abilities while highlighting your strongest assets and accomplishments. Call (803) 831-7444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started. Don’t get caught in a lie that could cost you the job.