We’ve all been capable of telling a little white lie before. What they don’t know won’t hurt ‘em, right? Right? Well when it comes to applying for jobs and telling little white lies on your resume, it might be causing a lot more harm than you think. And not to your employer, but to yourself.
It seems easy to fudge a resume and have that none-the-wiser attitude. Human resources departments must skim through hundreds of resumes a day – there’s no way they’ll be able to pinpoint a little white lie, right? Wrong.
Lying on resumes is an extremely common practice. Job applicants are constantly trying to bolster their resumes by eliminating gaps in their employment history, boosting their educational background, inflate their job titles and exaggerate their responsibilities.
People feel the need to eradicate that six-month period when they were jobless because they want employers to think that they never stopped working. That they’re strong, reliable employees with a go-getter attitude. It’s just as easy to bump a resume from coordinator to manager. Fortunately, employers usually ask for references and finding out those details from past employers is a quick call away. They can easily find out what your position was, what your responsibilities were, and not only when you stopped working there, but sometimes they can even find out why.
The same goes for education – people will turn themselves from a dropout to a graduate, transform their bachelor’s degree into a master’s, or flip that minor into a major. While an employer might not ask for a diploma with your references, they might do so after the interview process.
With employee rights becoming an integral feature of law, underachieving employees, whether unionized or not, are becoming increasingly difficult to let go of if they’re not reaching targets. Because of this, background checks before and after being hired are becoming a standard for all new employees. And, at least once a quarter, the business pages carry a story of a senior executive losing his or her job because they lied on their resume.
Many applicants apply for jobs outside the realm of their experience in order to get ahead, confident that they’ll be able to perform anyway. If they happened to smear their resume in the slightest and their new employer catches wind of it, it may be grounds for termination. Not only did they stain their resume, but they also stained their reputation and a chance at another job.
If you ever think about lying on a job application. Don’t do it. It’s that simple. There are too many checks and balances in place, especially with bigger businesses, that will come back to haunt you later on in your employment. Not to mention you will be living in constant fear of getting caught and potentially ruining a successful career, your household and your livelihood.
Being honest in your resume and application will always benefit you. If you are being interviewed and you are shaky on the dates of your previous employment, you’ll be sending up more red flags. If your employment or education has holes that you feel convey weakness, find a neutral way to explain why it took you five years to complete your Bachelor’s degree, or why you only lasted two months at your last job.
Honesty will always shine through as a strength. It will allow you to speak more comfortably and be more conversational in your interview, rather than sweating and struggling to remember falsified information.
Be honest. Don’t threaten your career with little white lies.
To your success!