Monday, July 22, 2013

Considering Lying on Your Resume - You May Want to Think Twice!

We are all raised with the belief that telling the truth is important.  Even as little children, our parents praise us when we tell the truth and admonish us when we don’t.

As we get older, things may get a little murkier.  But, in the end, we know that we display a strength of character when we are honest.

However, some people don’t feel that way.  For these people, “the ends justify the means”, and if a lie can get them what they want, so be it.

I frequently find evidence of this in my line of work, Background Checks!

Most often, the emphasis in Background Checks is placed on the Criminal History Check.  However, I believe verifying the skills and experience of an applicant is equally as important.

The truth is, some job seekers do lie about their education, previous employment, and job skills.  That is why a Resume Screening is invaluable.

A quality Resume Screening is a verification of anything a potential employee states on their resume or application.  Besides corroborating or dispelling what is contained in a resume, this kind of verification is also a great indicator of an applicant’s truthfulness.

Using a Resume Screening as part of the hiring process is especially necessary in a tough employment market.  Many job seekers become tempted to “beef up” their resumes with false information - all to make themselves more attractive candidates.

However, what job seekers need to realize is that falsifying your resume is always risky.  Not only can it keep you from initially getting the job, it can also damage your reputation.

Even if you manage to land the position, you should not believe yourself in the clear.  Many companies will re-check your credentials before considering you for a promotion.  In other instances, if a company is merging with or being bought out by another company, background checks on existing employees are run.

An uncovered lie can cost you your job.

It is possible to be truthful on your application despite a problematic work or education history.

Here I will outline 3 Common Resume Lies and What You can Do to Mitigate them:

  • Education and Skills

One of the easiest things to verify, Education is also one of the most often embellished.  In this case, it is best to be completely up front.

Fabricating your education and skills is a very tricky thing.   Claiming you have skills you do not can cause problems when you are expected to display them in your new position.

Instead, if this skill or training is essential to your job duties, my advice is to go get it!  Enroll in a class or training program to bring you up to speed.  Doing so will help you now and in the future.

  • Dates of Employment

In the effort to eliminate gaps in employment, many applicants will list inaccurate dates of employment.  There are two things you can do instead to mitigate these gaps.

You can truthfully explain the reasons for this period of unemployment.  We are in a time of closing companies and downsizing.  It is not uncommon to have been out of work.

It is also possible to lessen the impact of employment gaps with the pursuit of additional training, volunteerism, or self-employment/consulting work.  Be ready for real proof of these claims.

  • Job Titles

It is important to list any job title with the exact words as accepted by your former place of employment.  This is important when verifying your past position, and not something you should embellish.

However, it is with your job duties and examples of projects you completed that you can explain what you really accomplished.  Providing a list of your responsibilities and accomplishments will mean more than a grand job title.

In all cases, being untruthful on your resume can cause you problems.  Even if it is not uncovered during your initial hire, the feeling of having to look over your shoulder, waiting for the shoe to drop is not worth it.

This is what these “9 Famous Fibbers” found out the hard way:
by Barbara Safani via Aol Jobs.

While not all of them were ruined after their deceptions were uncovered, being truthful would have certainly been better advice for their careers, and will be for yours!

Authored by     

Thanks for reading my article and I would love any comments you care to leave!

For more on Hiring and Small Business, please visit my blog and website.  It would be great to connect on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ too!

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