Lying on Resumes and Job Applications Will Not Get You Ahead

When it comes to fine tuning your resume and filling out job applications, you may find yourself with gaps or grey areas you don’t know what to do with. While a competitive job market may make it tempting to embellish your experience or education, beware that being caught in a lie on your resume or job application will immediately pull you out of the running. According to a survey by Hloom, 58% of hiring managers report that they’ve spotted lies on applicant’s resumes.

Here’s why you shouldn’t lie and what you can do instead:

Your resume and job application should match seamlessly:
You might think, “There is no harm stretching the truth on my resume, it’s not even a legal document” however, think again. Most applications include an acknowledgement or disclaimer statement applicants sign-off on that states the information provided is true and any falsification of application information can result in termination. This will most likely decrease any legal opportunity you may have to fight it. Whether it’s a date, a degree, or daily job duties, do not stretch the truth.

1: You need to make the call to confirm your employment dates with your previous employer. Legally, most companies can and will provide or confirm your job title and employment dates. If you have gaps between jobs, explain them in your cover letter, don’t lie about being on a job for longer than you really were. Hiring managers will call to confirm this information so make sure it matches your resume.

2: When tailoring your resume to a specific job, don’t flat out lie about skills you don’t have or duties you never performed. What you can do is use the same language as open job description and include specific details of what you did as it applies to the open job description. For example, do not just write “various administrative work.” Be specific and list out your daily tasks: I assisted on composing and sending out daily marketing emails, I was responsible for accurate data entry of invoices, client records and daily office supply inventory using excel and other software.

3: When listing your education you must include the name of the school, the degree or certificate you earned and the correct date you received it. If you are still working on your degree; simply list the school name and what degree you are currently working towards with the date you started. Be sure to clarify this degree is in progress: “2017 – In progress.” If you attended school and did not complete a certification or degree program list the name of the school and only the dates you attended.

Just because you got a job offer doesn’t mean it can’t be taken back: 
Just because you got a job offer or started work already, doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Your future employer might make your employment contingent on passing a skills assessment and most likely also request your permission to conduct a formal background check. Background checks are typically performed to confirm and provide information such as work history, education or criminal history. Having a criminal past, legally, should not stop you from being hired, but lying about it certainly can. Employers have every right to rescind an offer or terminate your employment based on an application or resume lie. Be aware that a simple google search will reveal many things about you. According to a Career Builder survey, a whopping 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring.

Remember, as a job applicant you are under scrutiny to prove you are who you say you are and that you can do and have done what your resume says. It might feel tempting to stretch the truth or omit information from your resume in fear you will not get hired, however, hiring managers are bound to find out if you lied. Save yourself the time and hassle by being direct and honest with your potential future employers.