Avoid These Common Resume Lies

Avoid These Common Resume Lies

People often exaggerate their skills and experience on their resumes. Unfortunately, your lies can keep you from getting a job. Most hiring managers are used to seeing deception and know how to find out the truth. Generally, people lie about their mastery of skills, their length of employment, and where they attended college. While the intention isn't bad, the result is. Lying on a resume keeps employers from finding the best candidate and could result in you missing out on a job or underperforming. Before you write your resume, learn about the most common resume lies you should avoid.

Exaggerating Education

If you lie about a course you took or say you have an advanced degree when you don't have one, then you're in for a rude awakening. Most employers look into the education of their job candidates. Taking a class on a topic is great, but don't exaggerate and say you took an entire course if you only took one class.

People usually lie about their education because they feel underqualified. However, there are other ways to make up for the lack of education. For instance, you can talk about how a previous position taught you the same skills you would obtain with a higher education or a certification.

Another option is to point out any academic excellence or awards. If you didn't go to a prestigious university, you can still proudly speak of your education. Talk about your GPA or your honors status.

Inaccurate Dates

Most job seekers know that employment gaps can keep them from getting a job. If you try to cover up your employment gaps by exaggerating on your dates of employment, you may get caught. It's better to be open about employment gaps and to be truthful about the dates.

On your resume, you can explain an employment gap. Did you take time off to care for a sick family member? While you don't need to give extensive details, you can provide a brief explanation in your cover letter or on your resume.

Stretching Your Skills

After you read a job listing, you might realize that you're missing a few key skills. You might not have every skill the employer wants, but that doesn't mean you should lie about your skills. In reality, an employer isn't looking for someone who has a laundry list of skills. They just want someone who is qualified and able to learn the skills that they need in an employee.

To remedy this, only include skills you actually have. In your cover letter, you can explain that you're a quick learner and are eager to gain new skills. Proudly display your current skills and be clear about whether you're a beginner, novice, or expert.

Can You Get Caught?

You might be wondering if any of this matters. After all, will an employer actually find out that you're lying on a resume? In most cases, you risk being caught. An employer can easily learn about your deceit, but it might not happen right away.

Sometimes, the truth comes out during a background check. At other times, the facts reveal themselves after the employer hires the individual. Here are a few ways in which an employer could learn about your deceit:

Skills Assessment

Because lying on resumes is so common, many employers have skills assessments. If you claim to have coding, designing, or writing skills, you should expect a skills assessment. The employer might want to test your skills before they make a formal offer. Unfortunately for you, there's no way to cheat a skills assessment.

You are everywhere online. If your social media accounts and websites don't reflect your resume, you should expect the hiring manager to question what you claim. Before you submit your resume, make sure all your employment dates and education details line up. Look on LinkedIn, Facebook, and any other social media accounts you have. If you search your name on Google, you can learn what an employer will see when they look you up.

Background Check

It's not hard for an employer to run a background check. By calling a previous employer or looking into your education, a hiring manager can easily find out if you lied on your resume. There's no hiding from your past, and it's becoming harder and harder to lie on your resume.

It's worth noting that a background check doesn't need to happen right away. If an employer runs a background check after they hire you, they can still fire you for deception. Then, finding a new job will be even harder.

How to Stand Out Without Lying

If everyone else is being deceitful on their resume, how can you stand out? There are a few ways in which you can make your resume seem more appealing than everyone else's.

Change the Design

First, consider changing the layout of your resume. If you have frequent job changes or employment gaps, avoid having dates surrounded by blank spaces. Change up the format in a way that makes the dates less obvious. Eventually, an employer will ask you about the gaps or frequent job changes. But, in the meantime, you may have an opportunity to explain yourself in an interview.

Be Up Front

If you have issues you're trying to hide, you may want to take a different approach. For example, you may have been fired from a job. Rather than lying or letting the hiring manager come to their own conclusions, be open about the incident. As tactfully as you can, explain your dismissal. This could mean explaining what happened in the cover letter or writing a sentence about it on your resume.

Be Confident

People lie because they lack confidence in their resume, experience, and skills. If you think about lying, stop yourself and consider the facts. What qualifications do you have that make you more qualified than someone else? You need to have confidence in your own abilities, or no one else will have confidence in you.

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