Trying to find a job can be very stressful, especially if you don't have a lot of experience. Even if you do have viable experience, you are competing with hundreds (possibly thousands) of other applicants that may have more experience or better connections. This is why we count on our resume to get us in the door for getting the job. Your resume is your first impression and we can all agree that first impressions are everything. Before you are even able to open your mouth and communicate why the company should hire you, you have to win the company over with your resume. Without being present, your resume should be able to confidently speak for you and should be an example of your personal brand. It should highlight some of the most impressive details of you, your work experience, and skill set.
We all know the crucial role that a resume plays when job hunting so this is perhaps the reason why many people resort to lying on their resume. By stretching the truth, job seekers believe that they can become more attractive to hiring managers. In a recent survey on CareerBuilder, it showed that more than half (56%) of over 2,000 hiring managers have caught a lie on a resume. That is a huge number but it's the reality.
Some of the most common lies found on resumes are:
- Job title name
- Fluency level in foreign languages
- Computer program & software capability
- Length of work experience
- Type of duties in former position
- Type of awards given
- Volunteer experience
- Promotions received
Lying or exaggerating your experience on a resume is never a smart thing to do. If you are not proficient in Excel or don't know how to use Adobe, your boss will find out the truth sooner or later so don't lie. I understand how hard it can be to find a job, but that doesn't mean that you should lie on your resume. Trust me, the right job will come at the right time. Just be patient and never give up. Before you form your fingers to tell a lie that you can't live up to, follow my steps below to turn your lies into your truths.
1.Be the person you desire to be
Before lying about a skill enroll in a free online course or find a course in your community and actually learn that skill. Nowadays, you can learn literally everything on the internet. My favorite source for learning new skills is Udemy and YouTube. If you are more of a hands on learner, do a quick Google search for classes in your local community. You can also try looking on Groupon for courses as well.
2. Be strategic with your employment gap
If you took some time off of work or simply didn't work for a couple of months because you couldn't find a job, don't resort to exaggerating your employment tenure with a company. Analyze that gap in employment and consider any volunteer or personal projects that you have done. Your life outside of a company can still speak volumes on behalf of you and your work ethic. If you were volunteering during your employment gap, add that to the “volunteer" section of your resume. If you were engaged with your own personal projects (maybe you were starting and growing your blog or side hustle) add that on your resume under the “projects" section. Remember, don't forget to quantify all experience!
3. Don't be ashamed of your job title
One of the biggest resume lies that I see lying about your job title. For example, if you are an Administrative Assistant but desire a job in HR, you may change your job title to HR Manager or HR Coordinator. After all, you have done some HR duties as an Administrative Assistant, so what's the big deal with spicing up your job title?
Changing your job title is never the way to go. Instead of changing your job title, include key words in your job experience section and claim what you did and what you know. Even if those job duties are not apart of your formal job description, you can definitely discuss it in your resume because you actually did it. If you are applying to a job that has a different title than you have now and you are scared this may cost you the job, don't worry. As long as you use keyword friendly terms when describing your experience, recruiters and applicant tracking systems will be able to identify you and your skills.
4. Seek for work that will make you marketable
Another common resume lie is lying about the type of work you do. If you are hesitant about the work experience that you have, don't lie about it because the moment you are hired, it will be obvious that you don't have experience like you said you do. And then you know what'll happen next, you'll be back out on the Indeed site, job hunting again. While you are at your current job, make the most out of it, connect with as many people as you can, and try to learn as much as you can. If you work in HR but want to find a job in marketing at a different company, try to learn marketing while you are currently employed. Ask to shadow someone in marketing, and then offer your assistance to partner with them on projects. By doing this, you are gaining the experience you thought about lying about.
5. Be selfless
Having a giving heart is an amazing quality to have, which is why employers love hiring people that have a knack for helping others. Before lying that you have volunteered for all types of causes and organizations, you should actually volunteer. I remember when I was in undergrad I lied about volunteering for a local organization. In my interview, the person I was interviewing with was that organization's volunteer chairperson. When she asked me about my involvement, it was so obvious that I had never took one minute out of my life to volunteer with them. And if you are wondering, I didn't get that job. Employers don't like liars so don't be like the old me and lie about something as simple as volunteer work.
Do you have any horrific resume lies that you have succumbed to? Don't be shy, let us know!
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