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In a recent article, it was reported that 1 in 3 job applicants lie on their resume. Are you one of them? Speaking as a manager, discovering false information on a resume is sufficient reason to reject a candidate outright. Before you include false information on your resume, consider the following:

  1. Employers know that life happens. Have you spent some time out of the workforce? Before filling in any gaps in your work history with false jobs/dates, remember that your future boss is not necessarily going to judge you harshly. In today’s job market, life experience counts. All you have to do is present it as a growth experience from which you learned relevant job skills. Did you stay home to raise your children? Either note “Full-time parent” on your resume or highlight it in your cover letter, focusing on how you honed your organizational skills, learned to prioritize effectively and coordinated multiple schedules. Were you laid off? Acknowledge a “Career Transition” period and note any classes, workshops or training activities you participated in. These tactics not only showcase your skills, they demonstrate integrity and transparency–key qualities to your prospective employer.
  2. Employers will double-check. In a highly-competitive job market, employers have to weed out as many applications as they can–which means throwing out resumes that look fishy. With the help of technology, verifying previous employment takes seconds, and is a standard part of the hiring process. If you put false information on your resume, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll get caught, and that your application will be dismissed. If you’re applying to a large company, they may flag their computer systems to automatically reject any future application from you–which could harm you months or even years down the road.

The stress and anxiety of job-hunting are enough to make many job applicants consider doing ANYTHING to get the chance for an interview. Believe me, it’s not worth it. Candidates who escape being caught lying during the hiring process are still vulnerable to being fired if their dishonesty is discovered. As you search for your next job, stay true to your core values. Your next manager will thank you for it.


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