After spending years honing your skills, gaining valuable work experience and making connections, the last thing you need is to be labeled as dishonest. Candidates who embellish on their resume and application materials put themselves at a critical disadvantage. It may be tempting to stretch the truth when you don't have the required qualifications for an open position, but in the long-term, lies are always uncovered. Lying on your resume can damage your professional image, limit your career opportunities and hurt your ability to find the job of your dreams.
Facts Are Just That — Facts
Although you may think it is harmless to add a certification to your resume or embellish your job duties, the bottom line is that these facts can be checked. Many hiring managers request documentation to prove degrees and certifications earned. Hiring managers are also likely to inquire with your references and past employers to confirm your experience. A simple search online can also show that you have stretched the truth. These inconsistencies can immediately eliminate you from the hiring pool and taint your professional image.
Many employers also perform background checks and interview your references. Imagine the embarrassment that may follow when a reference does not vouch for your lies. The reality is that if you choose to lie on your resume, you are almost certain to get caught. Stick to the facts to maintain an honest and professional image in the industry.
Your Actions Determine Your Character
Hiring managers seek honest employees who mesh well with a company's culture and adhere to its mission and goals. If it is revealed that you have lied or embellished on your resume, your character becomes questionable. Potential employers may assume that you will be dishonest on the job or seek out shortcuts when completing your work duties.
The Truth May Haunt You
Even if you get away with lying on your resume, the truth is inevitably going to eventually catch up with you on the job. For example, if you note that you are proficient in a software or hardware program, yet you are unable to navigate the program or complete tasks on the job, your employer is sure to discover the truth. Lies waste the company's time and, ultimately, could lead to your dismissal. Instead, be honest about your skills and abilities, yet indicate that you are willing to learn quickly to satisfy all of the job requirements.
Faking It Leads to Stress
You should always be true to yourself in your personal life, and this practice also applies to your professional life. Just as it is difficult to fake a smile or laugh at a bad joke, it is also difficult to pretend to have skills you do not actually possess. Faking job skills leads to stress that can impact your overall mood and willingness to work as a team, thus hurting your work performance. Employers are likely to take notice, which can lead to poor performance reviews and termination if you are unable to follow through with what you promised during the job interview.
Employers Expect Trustworthy Employees
Employees have a right to expect honesty and integrity from their employers, and employers expect the same from all applicants. To build an open and honest relationship with hiring managers, a serious candidate needs to be trustworthy when explaining skills and critical resume information. When you stretch the truth and can't deliver results, you send the message that you are willing to lie and cheat to gain opportunities. This practice is unacceptable in the professional world, taints your sense of professionalism and brands you as an undesirable employee. Employers seek individuals with diverse talents, so even if you don't have the skills desired, you can emphasize the skills you possess to increase your chances.
Interviews Can Reveal the Truth
Even if you are able to outsmart a hiring manager or recruiter and nab an interview by including false information on a resume, the truth is likely to surface at some point during the interview. Candidates who claim to have skills or knowledge of the industry are often asked to elaborate during job interviews. You may be asked to speak about skills that you either do not have or lack sufficient knowledge of during the hiring process. If you are unfamiliar with the jargon, it is going to be crystal clear to the interviewer. Avoid an uncomfortable and embarrassing encounter by only listing accurate skills and work experience.
Trying to outsmart potential employers is bound to backfire if you decide to lie on your resume. Rely on your actual skills and experience to gain opportunities instead of trying to be someone you are not. By doing so, your eagerness to learn and honest nature may land you opportunities that are a much better match for your future.
Photo Courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net