You Should Never Lie on Your Resume: Lying on resumes is more common than you might think. Almost every resume has some form of exaggeration or lie. However, cheating on a resume can make it a lot more challenging for a candidate to stand out as opposed to the common notion. Assessing a candidate’s resume is just the first step of the hiring process, and the subsequent phases of the interview are mostly based on what’s mentioned on your resume.
It takes a lot more hard work to cover up the lies mentioned on your resume, and being honest about your shortcomings can be a lot easier. However, if you intend to or have already lied on your resume, it might help to know why job seekers should never lie on their resume and how to handle lies if any.
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Do You Really Need To Lie?
Lying on your resume is not only a questionable decision to make with respect to ethics and conscience, but it may also have adverse repercussions in the future. People mostly choose to lie about different aspects of their professional life, such as their qualifications and experience, to get a job that they believe they might not qualify for. However, being hired for a position that you might not be able to take on can lower your self-esteem and make it difficult for you to execute your responsibilities.
One of the reasons why so many people lie on their resume is that is not exactly illegal to do it. However, it is also not the most effective way to get a job. The most straightforward and easy way to find a job is, to be honest, and confident in the skills you possess. Therefore, it is best to not lie on your resume.
What do Employers Look For In A Resume?
Employers like to have a good idea about your experience in the area that you’re being hired for. Since similar positions may also vary in terms of responsibilities for different companies, it helps to tailor the resume to the responsibilities listed by a specific company. Skills acquired from your previous work experience, achievements, projects executed, and certifications relevant to the position are all the elements that an employer would look out for.
However, if a fresher applies for a role, an employer might want to make sure that the candidate has an educational background that equips them with the skills needed to work on projects on a day-to-day basis. In terms of how the resume looks, employers generally prefer candidates who present a concise application with information specific to the role, as this also indicates that the candidate must have gone through the requirements of the hirer to customize the resume accordingly.
What Employers May Think You’re Hiding?
Certain elements find their place in almost every resume, such as interpersonal skills, critical thinking skills, ability to adapt, ability to work well in teams, organizational skills, and emotional intelligence. While an employer might not explicitly point it out, listing these as skills may leave an impression on the employer that a candidate is not introspective, thus listing the most common skills rather than taking the time to think of skills that might be unique to them. However, employers generally make it a point to test your skills in the interview rounds.
When a resume is more about duties and less about accomplishments and action verbs, it may send a message to your employer that your previous job offered you little to no exposure. An employer might think you’re hiding what exactly your projects looked like and the process of executing projects. This makes candidates appear to be less acquainted with their job role, and a good way of avoiding this is to be very specific and include important information related to accomplishments.
Most Common Resume Lies
Some of the most common resume lies include overstating skills, exaggerating work experience at the previous company, making up experiences, and not being honest about educational background. One of the best ways to ensure you do well in your interview is by being as genuine and truthful about everything that you state in your resume. Many candidates have a basic knowledge of a certain skill; however, they may choose to state they possess mastery over the skill. This is a lie that can easily be detected during different rounds of interviews.
Since having a gap year or a few months of being unemployed can sometimes affect a candidate’s chances of being hired, some might want to fill the gap by stretching the dates of one or more jobs. Likewise, many candidates also manipulate their academic credentials. The problem with such lies on a resume is that, if an employer chooses to run a background check, these inconsistencies will be easily spotted.
What To Do When You Have Lied On Your Resume?
If you’ve built a resume that does not contain authentic information about you, you can take certain steps to make rectifications. Here are some tips as to how to handle lies or exaggerations of your resume.
Update Your Resume
If your resume has a few inconsistencies, such as some dates, you can go ahead and update your resume. When the interviewer addresses these changes, you can justify by saying that you noticed some errors on your resume that you have corrected.
Be Honest During the Interview
While it may seem lucrative to lie about a thing or two to get a job, it might not help you so much in the long run. Getting a job based on lies might put you through a lot of pressure, and you might, at times, feel like you’re not a good fit for the position. Therefore, one of the best ways to handle lies on your resume is to come out clean during the interview. While this may lower the chances of you being hired, it will definitely take off the burden of being untruthful off your shoulders.
What Will Happen If They Find Out You Lied?
When your employer finds out that you have lied on your resume, the chances of you being hired are significantly lowered. Knowing this could be the consequence, it is best to withdraw when you know you have lied on your resume. Given you do get hired for the position, there’s a good chance that the company will fire you if they find out that you have manipulated information on your resume to get the job.
Employers have become more proactive in assessing their candidates than ever. When it comes to finding the best fit for a position, they leave no stone unturned. From different rounds of interviews, tests, social media research, and comprehensive background checks, there is a good chance that any lies on your resume would be caught in one of the rounds of interviews or assessment.
This is why, it is best to be completely honest and authentic on your resume, and steer clear of any information that might be an exaggeration. And if you’ve already sent a resume wherein you have lied about certain things, it will help to be prepared to either cover up (if possible) or be honest about it when you appear for the interview.
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