It can be tempting to exaggerate or pad a resume to make it more relevant for a role you are especially interested in. But the risk of doing so is pretty high. There are many ways a hiring manager can spot a resume liar, so be careful. Here are just a few ways you can get caught in a lie on your resume that can potentially cost you the job.
Graduation Dates and Schools
Many high-profile scandals have surfaced about professionals lying about their alma mater. And many were fired for the mistake. Don’t be that person. Graduation dates, schools, and level of education are all easily verifiable. Be clear and accurate about your level of education and when you graduated. Hiring managers are more likely than ever to verify before hiring you. Even if you did great on the interview, lying about something blatantly is an immediate red flag.
Certification and Skills Tests
Similarly, saying you are certified when you don’t have the certification to back it up can be a big problem for you down the line. If a hiring manager asks for candidates with certain skills, there’s a high probability it is important enough to verify or ask for proof of certification. Skills tests are a gatekeeper to make sure they are hiring the right individual for the job. You can’t lie your way through a skills test, so don’t even try.
Fake Addresses or Alternate Identities
Your resume should not be under a fake name. Background checks and even automated verifications will reveal who is and isn’t who they say they are on their resume. Ensure your address is correct and that the name you provide will lead back to the real you.
Just like with your education history, your employment history is easily verifiable. There are both automated and in-person checks that employers can make to reach out to and confirm past employment dates. If something doesn’t add up, that’s a big problem and one that can completely derail your hiring process. The same goes for your previous job titles. If it looks too good to be true on paper, you can count on someone being willing to ask the question, even if it’s to be extra sure they’re talking to the right person.
The bottom line is that being honest and upfront about your history on your resume is the best way to get employed. The risks outweigh the reward of lying on a resume. What doesn’t come out in the interview process can come out in other ways that might surprise you. In the current age of automated hiring processes and social media, there’s not a lot that you can lie about without risking exposing yourself and your career.
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