Have you ever been tempted to stretch the truth on your resume? Perhaps to fudge your employment dates by a few months or slightly exaggerate your expertise with Excel. Why not? Everyone does it, and it’s not like there’s anything wrong with a harmless little mistruth that could give you the edge over everyone else standing in line for the job.
4 Hazards of Lying on Your Resume
1. Getting Fired. When employers find out you have lied on your resume (and they will eventually find out), they have every right to fire you for it. While there aren’t any laws that govern the truthfulness of statements made on resumes, it still can be grounds for dismissal.
Don’t just take our word for it. Look at former Yahoo! CEO, Scott Thompson, who was fired for lying about a degree he didn’t earn. Sure, he got the job, but as soon as his employer discovered the lie, he was terminated.
Similarly, it’s not a good idea not to lie about your GPA. When HR employees call to verify your education, they also get information on GPA. If you falsify your grades, your resume will be sent to the trash.
2. Being Disqualified from the Applicant Pool. Potential employers will check up on you. Most Human Resource offices check references, graduation dates, and past employment dates before making a job offer. It’s best to stick to the truth on your resume so they don’t have to take you out of the running because of a falsification.
3. Guilt. It’s is a powerful thing. If you get a job even though you’ve lied on your resume, you have to live with the knowledge that you lied to get the job. And you can’t tell anyone, for risk of being fired. It’s not an easy thing to live with the remorse from an avoidable lie.
4. Lies Beget More Lies. Just like when you were little, when you tell one lie, you have to tell another one to cover up the first lie, which just leads to more lies. Soon, you could find yourself having to tell lie after lie just to keep your story straight. Eventually, not even you will be able to figure out what the real story is.
Honesty is the Best Policy
As hard as it may be to not include a few embellishments on your resume, stick to the facts. Appeal to the hiring manager’s need to fill the job and clearly explain why you’re a good fit for the position in your cover letter.
Honesty doesn’t mean not applying for a job you don’t have the required experience specified in the ad. If you think you can excel in a position or with a particular company, tell them why. Experienced employers look for a good fit for their company over many of the requirements on a job advertisement.
image credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net