The purpose of a resume is to give hiring managers an overview of who you are as an employee. Therefore, you must be meticulous in writing every submission and ensure all details are precise, from the resume header to the last bit of the reference page. Besides being syntax-free, resumes should also be truthful and fact-based.
Many people try to glorify their job applications by tweaking their resumes. While minimal exaggerations on some details could be forgivable, outright alteration of facts crosses the line of ethicality. If you are planning to make false claims in your resume, please know that legal penalties exist, and depending on the state, the consequences could be as worse as imprisonment.
It is best for all job applicants to be constantly truthful on their resumes. Also, lying on a resume to get a job offer is not worth it. The hiring managers of your potential employer have peering eyes. They know.
Why should job seekers never lie on resume?
As said earlier, lying on a resume is technically illegal. But besides worrying about the penalties for rendering a false statement, applicants should consider how their careers would suffer. An applicant caught making fraudulent entries on a resume will develop a bad reputation in the career marketplace. Often, this type of reputation is irreversible.
When a prospective employer or hiring manager discovers resume lies
The most immediate effect of getting caught lying is getting disqualified from the application. Hiring managers could not afford to tolerate liars because their tendency to lie can pose several threats to the company.
Some companies would also put lying applicants on a blocklist to prevent them from qualifying for the company’s other job listings. They could even share the list with their peer companies and widen the scope of the blocklist.
The risk of getting caught while lying on your resume is relatively high. It is not worth it because the company can easily revoke your job offer even if you get the job.
How can you be caught lying?
Three out of four employers notice job seekers lie on their job applications. Since they receive and assess job applications all the time, they can detect resume lies even without exerting much effort. But other than having high perception, employers have different ways to inspect the authenticity of a resume.
Here are common examples:
1. Skill assessment
This method is likely the most embarrassing way to be exposed for lying on a resume. It is uncommon for employers to set assessment tests for applicants. Besides testing their compatibility with the job description, it can also deter lying applicants.
If you fail the skill assessment or the results do not align well with your resume, the employer will see through your facade.
2. Reference check
When a prospective employer calls your reference list, they ask critical questions. Since they want to know if you are the best fit for a job, interrogate for specifics. If they do not think that the reference person’s testimony does not line up with the details on your resume, do not expect a callback.
3. Social media background check
Recruiters also check social media as an added layer of background checks for applicants. This act is popularly known as social media screening. Since it is common for people to post work-related activities there, they can retrieve valuable information helpful for assessment.
4. Confirmation from the government
Some companies go as far as working with government agencies to do background checks on job applicants. High-profile companies do this to ensure the quality of their workers. Also, it is more practical for them to be keener during the screening process than to find complications later due to poor assessment.
10 Lies that should not be on your resume
A little white lie is said ever to hurt no one. This statement, however, is not wholly true. Although a white lie does not have a grave intention to defraud another, its effects could bare extreme consequences. Thus, always think twice when you lie on your resume.
Avoid placing these in your job application:
Using another person’s name for a job application tantamounts to a crime called identity theft. It has a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison plus fines and criminal forfeiture. Once caught, you will not need to file a job application for a long time.
2. Academic background
Academic background is crucial for many job titles. However, it is never right to claim scholastic achievements you never attained. For example, refrain from stating you graduated with a specific degree even though you only finished a few units.
3. Work history
One of the biggest scams applicants try regarding work history is extending their employment dates. If you worry about employment gaps, it is better to answer questions relating to them honestly. Making up excuses will only make you look suspicious.
4. Technical skills
Others also try to embellish their resumes with added technical skills they are never proficient with. This kind of fraud is common in the IT industry when developers claim to know various programming languages.
5. Previous employer
When your previous employment did not end well, do not create a lie to cover it up. The better thing to do is focus on your best performance and provide more detail on how you contributed positively to the company.
6. Previous salary
Some applicants raise the amount of their supposed salary to pressure employers to make an enormous offer. Again, it is better to be honest about your demands. Name your price and explain why you deserve a bigger paycheck.
7. Certifications and licenses
Other than claiming to possess specific licenses and certificates, some applicants go as far as faking the said licenses and certificates. In this instance, you could be liable for making a false statement and producing fake documents.
If it did not happen, do not say it. Unfortunately, some applicants fabricate scenarios to impress recruiters. Be aware that recruiters are incredibly sharp, and they can smell nonsense from miles away. Once they notice your lies, you will lose your chances of getting employed.
One of the worst mistakes when lying on a resume is putting random character references. Keen employers will call these character references. If they do not answer, or even if they pick up the phone and do not recognize you, your chances of getting hired will only plummet.
10. Non-work related activities
Sneaky job applicants like to mix in volunteer work and other extracurricular activities to add more character to their resumes. Refrain from doing this. Whether these activities are official or not, employers will always have a way to verify your claims.
Fill your resume with real skills
Job seekers do not realize that there are many ways to make applications more attractive to employers and that they should not resort to common resume lies. Every lie on your resume will only become a demerit to your attempt at a job title. Fill your resume with skills instead.
These are the top employment-related skills you will learn at Skill Success:
Create a good impression and impress others through your efficient communication. Top-tier communication skills will help you relay your ideas better and take control of conversations. Consequently, it will be easier for people to favor your sentiments.
Leadership skills are handy because it makes an employee more capable of handling complicated tasks. They will also learn how to leverage the skills and talents of others to attain the common goals set by the company.
Some positions demand that workers know how to speak specific languages. Language skills are indispensable because they facilitate effective communication and seamless execution of plans between multilingual teams. Besides, learning a new language is exciting because it also previews a country’s culture.
If you are handling leadership roles, negotiation skills are a must-have. It helps any individual remain composure and wit despite the conflicting claims and demands that another party may have. It is also a helpful skill for conflict resolution.
In business, managerial skills involve drafting a business plan and determining strategies to boost sales. In other industries, managerial skills are most useful for organizing people, especially when mobilizing multiple individuals at once.
In the service industry, customer service is always king. It takes a lot to satisfy customers, and different customers ask for unique things. A well-rounded employee should immediately know how to handle irate customers.
Nowadays, companies are looking for professionals who can organize multiple projects and accomplish tasks in an orderly manner. It also involves utilizing people resources to execute projects and improve them, if possible.
Crises happen all the time, and companies need workers who can stay on their toes and hustle until problems get resolved. Being good at problem-solving also enhances an individual’s capacity to make sound judgments during unexpected events.
Programming or coding skills are some of the most in-demand modern skills. It is not only relevant to programmers and developers, but this skill could also create a meaningful impact on various aspects of society.
Almost every company marketing through the internet relies on SEO. Knowing how to write SEO content and implement its systems could specifically help any professional succeed in the marketing and journalism industry.
Honesty is still the best policy
Whether writing resumes or cover letters, nothing beats being honest. The competition is tight, but lying on your resume will only do more harm than good. So instead, supplement your lack of professional skills and experience by seizing every opportunity for career growth. A prospective employer will eventually realize you are a perfect fit for their open position.