Every three months or so, you’ll see an article in a business magazine. So-and-so, a senior executive at such-and-such organization, gets caught for lying on his or her resume twenty years ago when they joined up.
It’s always tempting to hide the black marks and awkward situations in your work history whenever you write or update your resume. But it’s never a good idea to do it.
Why do I say that?
Consider what happened to one of my clients many years ago. A security professional, he was hired and reported to a manager who knew nothing about security. My client found out very quickly that his manager had no interest in upgrading his company’s security standards. Since he didn’t want to create a fuss, he found new employment and resigned before his probationary period was over.
A few years later he tried to move on to another new job and discovered to his shock that his former short-term manager was spreading lies about him, lies that had cost him consideration for more than one opening. So, when he came to me, he asked me to leave that job off the resume we prepared so he could apply for his dream job.
I complied. But, to make sure that my client couldn’t be charged with lying, I also left a signal in the resume that told readers that his career history was not complete. Because I expected interviewers to ask him about this omission, we carefully crafted an explanation of why he had left that company so quickly and why it wasn’t on his resume – an explanation that showed he had handled a potential professional conflict in a credible way without badmouthing his former manager for lying about him.
In the event, the interviewer did not pick up on the clue and raised no questions about the incomplete job list. My client got the job. But three months later, he was fired — for lying on his resume, because that company wasn’t mentioned.
The moral of the story? With today’s internet and fact-checking agencies, you must act as if it is certain that if you try to hide any bad stuff you in your career history, it will be spotted sooner or later, with serious consequences for you. So, the challenge you face is this: instead of leaving the bad stuff off my resume, how do I minimize its impact?
Since my experience with that client, I have worked out several effective ways to lessen the impact of career mistakes. If you have a career mistake you’d like to minimize, feel free to get in touch.
ffresume.com – Vancouver Resume Writer