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Resume Little White Lies

Things You Should Know Before You Stretch the Truth


Job interview
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Almost everyone admits to it - adding that little white lie to your resume to make your case for that job just that little bit stronger. Maybe you changed your title to be called Administration Manager even though you had no staff to supervise. Perhaps you omitted to tell them that you didn't finish that degree. Or it could be that you took claim for a workplace project that really wasn't entirely yours.

We tell ourselves it's not lying - just embellishing. No-one will ever know. Think again!

Employers Can Access Your Career Information

In today's market, technology affords employers greater access to your career information than ever before, and the threat and costs associated with bad hiring decisions are pushing employers to scrutinize candidates more closely than ever.

As a resume writer, I work to coach my clients that resume integrity is critical. Whilst a good resume will portray you in your best light, it's never a good idea under any circumstances to lie. Not ever.

A lie on a resume may get you to interview. But at what price? Today's interviews are based on sophisticated behavioural interviewing techniques that demand a depth of detail not easily fudged. Nothing is more telling of a resume lie than a blank look as someone stumbles to put together feasible responses to what they wrote.

After the Interview

Even if you manage to get through the interview - what then? Many employers now use professional pre-screening companies that are experts in hounding out resume lies and inaccuracies. As the internet has grown with sites offering access to a wealth of opportunities to buy mock degrees and fraudulent documentation, now we are seeing the backlash to this, as legal history is being made with individuals seeing the consequences both legally and financially for these actions. And of course, what if you do get the job? You've painted yourself as an expert in your field and now you are expected to deliver. Of course you'll most likely fail and instead of having a great role, you have a failure leaving you with poor morale and a terrible hole in your resume that you now need to lie again about to cover what happened. It's a vicious circle and a place you don't want to be.

Instead Consider the Alternatives:

Build yourself a resume that really sells you on your merits. A good resume writer will be able to structure your background to show achievements on any level. Typically when I write my client's resume their response is twofold. One they are astounded to see on paper how much they actually achieved and how much they had previously overlooked in their resumes because "its just what I do on a daily basis". Secondly their confidence soars as they see quantifiably how much they offer employers.

Use your cover letter to address any gaps in experience you may have for the job through highlighting your transferable skills, and your capacity to adapt these skills to differing environments. Build passion into your resume for why you want the role, as employers will often be swayed by individual's energy and determination. More often than not, employers recognise that its harder to find a person with the right qualities, than it is to teach job skills.

Finally build a career based on integrity. Let your achievements speak for themselves and have confidence in yourself!

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