“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” –Mark Twain
When you’re on the job hunt, the only thing you really have control over is your resume. Everything else is up to the employer. That’s why it is important not to lie on your resume. It is tempting to try to make yourself look better on paper in hopes of receiving better feedback, but it will hurt you more if you get caught than it will help you if you don’t. If a potential employer catches you in a lie, that not only destroys your chances of getting a job but it also reflects on your integrity. Interviews are stressful enough without having to remember the lies you wrote on your resume.
Here are common lies that people use on their resumes, along with their consequences.
The lie: Exaggerate duties. For example, you pretend you write reports for your current job because the new job requires report writing. If you’re asked specific questions about the reports in the interview, you will bomb. Then you’re wasting their time and yours.
The lie: Change dates. If there is a gap in your employment history you think is unattractive, don’t adjust your employment dates to close the gap. A potential employer can find out because there may be older versions of your resume on different job boards, or your resume might not match up to your LinkedIn account. You more than likely have a paper trail.
The lie: Pretend you are still employed. If you lost or quit your most recent job and you pretend you still work there, it is easy for a hiring manager to call your last employer and verify whether or not you work there.
The lie: Add skills. You may be required to use these fake skills in the new position, and if that is the case, you won’t last long. It will be easy for your employer to determine you don’t know the skills you claimed to have. Save yourself the trouble.
The lie: Add college degree. All it takes is a call to the registrar’s office to confirm you graduated college. It’s also not a good idea to list that you went to college but omit that you never graduated. Clearly write the extent of your education without any deception.