Searching for a job is often a stressful, lengthy process, and if you're not having luck nabbing interviews, you might be tempted to embellish the truth on your resume to make yourself look more attractive as a candidate. While it may seem harmless, you should never lie on your resume. An employer may be willing to take a chance on someone who is inexperienced but won't give a second look to someone who isn't truthful.
Skills and Responsibilities
Never list skills or abilities you don't possess on your resume. Maybe you think it will make you more marketable, especially if these skills are desired in your chosen industry. Or, maybe you don't want to let the job opportunity get away. However, if you list these skills on your resume, land an interview and then are asked to give examples of how you applied the skills in previous positions, you're going to be stuck. It would be even worse if you continue the lies in the interview and get the job. What happens in the workplace when you aren't able to do what you were hired to do? The employer could fire you because you misrepresented yourself during the hiring process. It's also possible that others in your industry are going to find out you lied, and this could result in you being ostracized in your field. It's also the same for embellished responsibilities. Don't inflate what you did in previous positions, as your new hiring manager likely has very specific expectations regarding the skills required in your new role.
Employment Dates and Job Titles
Check the employment dates on your resume carefully, and make sure they're accurate. You most likely haven't worked three different jobs at the same time in three different states unless you're a self-employed entrepreneur. Details are important. If you're worried about gaps in your employment history, explain these gaps in your cover letter. It's also best to keep job titles the same and not try to make it sound like you had a higher-level position or more responsibility than you did. If you exaggerate your job title, you may be caught in a lie when the hiring manager contacts your references.
Your education credentials can easily be verified with official transcripts. Never lie about possessing a degree or the type of degree you possess. If the job posting requires a bachelor's degree but you only have an associate's degree, it doesn't mean you shouldn't apply. If you have the right experience, explain how that experience makes up for the lack of education desired for the position.
Your resume is evidence of your accomplishments, skills, education and experience. Don't lie about what you bring to the table. It cheapens your candidacy and gives the hiring manager a bad impression of you.
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