What You Can Lie About On Your Resume
So I bet your thinking, “Wow – this girl is going to tell me it’s ok to lie on my resume.” Well…Gotcha! It is never OK to lie on your resume, whether intentionally or not. Many of you have already heard the story of how Yahoo’s former CEO was forced to resign because of a fib on his resume. He pretended to have a duel-degree as opposed to a single degree. In the end, he lost the job over something that probably made little or no difference in actually getting the job.
A resume is a snapshot of your career and an employer’s first impression of you; pay careful attention to it, read through it multiple times, and ensure all the information you’ve provided is accurate and can be backed up.
Here are six important things to make sure you get right on your resume:
- Dates: Have you finished at your last job? Does it still say ” – Present”? If so, change it. Did you have a month break once while looking for a job, and are you tempted to fib in order to eliminate the break? Don’t. There are background checks and reference checks and recruiters will discover the truth.
- Title: Want to give yourself a promotion? Too bad, because you can’t. Don’t add Senior or Lead or Manager if it’s not true. Also, be mindful that just because you were the person with the longest tenure on a team, that doesn’t necessarily make you the “Senior” person or leader; time doesn’t create seniority, qualifications do. If you misstate your title you might be called for a position you aren’t qualified for.
- Degrees: One credit shy? Do not indicate that you have a degree. You can explain that you were one credit or one class shy of a degree to show that you have the education, but listing “Bachelor’s in Computer Science” would be a lie. If the employer asks for your transcript you will be in trouble.
- GPA: If it’s bad, don’t list it. There is no reason to give yourself at 1.0 increase just because you think it will help. On a 4.0 scale it is generally only beneficial to list your GPA if it is above a 3.7.
- References: Some people like to put reference “quotes” on their resume. They are already unnecessary, so don’t make them up. Recruiters will most likely call that person who gave you the reference that you quoted.
- Contact Information: Now this one is simple; make sure your phone number and email address are correct. Otherwise, you will never hear from back because recruiters won’t be able to reach you.
It’s not worth lying on your resume. The chances of a lie getting you the job are not very likely — the interview process will weed you out if you are truly not a fit. If you’re caught the repercussions will be severe, so stick to the truth and get a job you are actually qualified for.