A lie on your resume can have a huge negative impact on your job prospects, especially if you’re applying for a position with a listing that explicitly asks for the truth. So, why not just tell the truth? Here’s some advice from CareerBuilder that’ll help you handle this tricky question and when you lie on your resume meme.
1. Know the difference
You don’t need to lie just because a job listing asks for information you feel uncomfortable giving them. For example, if you’re asked for a specific number of years experience, that doesn’t mean you have to lie about the fact that you only have five. However, some questions are trickier and require careful thought.
2. Apply smart wording
If you are asked how long you’ve worked at your current job or how many years experience you have in your field, be smart with your wording and give as much information as possible without actually lying. Instead of saying “I’ve worked at this company for two years” and actually working there for two years, say something like, “I’ve been at this company since March 2012.”
3. Think twice before lying
If you find yourself in a situation where you want to lie on your resume, don’t do it. Instead, think about how you really feel about the hiring manager or job title that’s being asked for. Be honest and let them know what’s going on inside your head. If you have a good reason for lying or not giving them the information they’re looking for, be sure to ask yourself if it’s worth it to get the job.
4. Speak up if it’s an ethical issue
Even if a resume asks for something you know is against the rules, don’t feel like you have to lie about it. If the question is too personal or unethical, ask yourself how important your job is to you and how much of an impact it’s going to have on your career. If the answer is more important than the job itself, consider not lying about it. Don’t let fear of one lie get in way of what needs to be done for your future success.
5. Consider the consequences
Make sure there are no negative consequences from a prospective employer finding out that you didn’t give them accurate information on your resume. If you end up getting the job, but the company finds out that you lied about your college years, there will be consequences. The same is true if a potential employer finds out that you didn’t tell them about that big lawsuit in your past.
6. Be selective with your information
Having a large portion of years experience on your resume can make a huge impact on what jobs you’ll get in the future. Just remember: Highlight your career and internship experience, awards and recognition and other skills that are directly related to what you’re applying for. Don’t pad it with information that may be more of an obstacle than help when it comes to landing a job because they’ll see right through it!
7. Use a ‘tick’ list
Be sure to always keep track of all the information you give out on job interviews and resume applications! This way, if you ever need to prove that you never lied, you have all the proof you need. For example, know where your resume is and have access to it. Keep a recent copy of it on a flash drive in your bag at all times. Have a copy of your cover letter and job interview notes on your computer as well. This way, if there’s ever any question as to whether or not you lied about something on application or in an interview, you have proof that everything was said with honesty.
8. Be prepared
To avoid any confusion when it comes to resume questions, be sure to write down every single position you’ve held, every internship or job-related volunteer experience, and all of your educational information. Keep that information easily accessible so you’re not scrambling during a stressful time.
9. Don’t make it a matter of pride
If you feel like lying on your resume is going to impress the employer enough to get that job offer, think again. Hiring managers are smart and they’re good at finding out what they want to know. Be clear with what you put on your resume and always be honest. If you have to lie, don’t make it a matter of pride or image. Just tell one little white lie and keep yourself from making a huge mistake that could cost you a job you really want.
10. Don’t be afraid to ask
Whenever you’re about to write something on your resume that isn’t completely true, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. It’s better to ask for clarification about a situation than it is to find out the hard way that you’ve given fake information on your resume! If there’s any doubt at all, don’t put it on the resume. If there’s any question as to whether or not something should be included, ask the hiring manager before putting it down.