It is tough to find a job in this competitive labour market when everyone has the same qualifications as you, or even better. I am sure that the thought of lying on your resume has crossed your mind, even for just one minute. Yes, “stretching the truth” on your resume is considered a lie. But, try to suppress the urge to fabricate the truth as there’s a great chance you’ll be caught. And a lie can leave you unemployed and living in your parents’ basement- are you willing to risk it?
See Also: Why You Should Never Lie On Your Resume
It’s true that first impressions are crucial during a job search. Hiring managers have thousands of resumes to skim through and decide on just a few to invite for an interview. Having in mind this nerve-racking and sometimes unfair treatment, job seekers are often tempted to lie on their resume to improve their chances.
However, keep I mind that employers are willing to consider applicants who may not meet all the requirements yet show genuine enthusiasm for the job opportunity. You don’t have to lie to increase your chances; prove that you are a good fit by going beyond your qualifications and portraying an eagerness to learn and grow in your career.
Here is a list of the most common things hiring managers have caught applicants lying about on their resumes:
If you lack some skills that the position requires, this is not the place to “stretch the truth”. If employers find out that you don’t actually have the skills you mention on your resume, you will be red flagged as a dishonest applicant.
And no, it is not as easy to pick it up as you go. Make sure to be honest about your current skills and areas that need further development. It’s better to have three out of the five key skills, rather than be caught lying about your skills.
Even though it may be tempting to modify your job description to say you managed a project you just helped with, restrain yourself from doing it. How are you going to answer a question regarding your role and experience for that specific job? Your answer will most probably reveal that you don’t know what you are talking about and you have made-up responsibilities.
Just emphasize how you helped the team accomplish their goals by using specific examples of your own contribution and state the positive results at the end and you will impress them.
3. Academic Degrees
Everyone is under the false impression that by stating a fake college degree, no one will ever notice it as they don’t check, right? Well, as it turns out this is not the case. All it takes is a call or a letter to the college, and a potential employer finds out whether you are a liar or not. If you do get caught lying about your degree, I don’t think that they will give you a second chance whatsoever. It’s a dead end.
If you are currently in school, just put down your highest level of degree completed and then the year you are expecting to graduate. If you are taking a break, have a good explanation such as family or money issues. Even if you still haven’t graduated, it is important to show that you know what you have been taught so far and how this has influenced your professional career.
4. Dates of Employment
Most job seekers who have stayed unemployed for a long period or have changed multiple jobs in a short period of time are afraid that it won’t look good on their resume. Again, it is worse being caught lying rather than having a spotty resume. If they do find out about your lies, they will instantly question the validity of the rest of your resume as well.
If there are gaps in your employment history, make sure to show that you have stayed active during that period by learning new skills, got new qualifications and so on.
Lying about anything on a resume or during an interview is considered bad practice. They want to hire loyal and honest employees. It will be a hell of a stressful experience to try and keep up with the lies, only to get caught eventually.
Have you ever been caught lying on your resume? How did you handle it? Let us know in the comments section below.