Recently I was asked by a friend to assist with drafting her resume, which I gladly agreed to do. I got all the data required including the list of extracurricular activities. Having known the friend from school, I knew a few things mentioned were most certainly not true. Upon enquiry I learnt, that was to be incorporated in the resume to ‘beautify’ the resume. I tried to reason with the concerned person that this was not the approach to take. A little so called ‘beautification’ could cause her to loose valuable opportunities and cause immense embarrassment. Click To Tweet
Being from the background verification industry, I tried to dissuade her by quoting statistics and numbers and that how discrepancies were almost always caught. To that, I was told that companies just verify the ‘important stuff’ and don’t really bother about the other ‘stuff’. Moreover, that these were ‘little white lies’ and what possible damage or harm could they inflict upon anyone.
I was taken aback with the categorization of verifiable components and non-verifiable components that prospective candidates have in their mind. I would like to clarify to all the prospective resume embellishers, companies verify almost all components of the resume. It is a fact that my dear friend wasn’t the only one doing it, every other candidate ‘enhances’ their resume to enable them to have additional talking points during the interview. Data at JantaKhoj corroborates that resume deceit and enhancement is pandemic.
Being old school I still advocate a lie is a lie.
Nothing is worth risking being labelled as a liar or a fraud. We know it’s a tough job market out there with immense competition. It is indeed tempting to indulge in a little ‘beautification’, as it’s called, to appear more desirable or more hirable. These little white lies are stretching the truth and some are just outright lies.
The ousted CEO of Yahoo, Scott Thompson must have also thought that it doesn’t matter whether it’s a Computer Science degree or an Accounting degree, after all it is a degree. But then, it did matter and he was consequentially asked to step down. Not only did he publically lose his job but was subject to a lot of humiliation and rebuke. He could have been one of the best CEOs in the company’s history. Sadly, we will never know. A little white lie cost him his hard earned job. A little smart marketing could have still got him the job. We all ought to learn from his mistake.
He didn’t need to fib about the degree, he should have stated what it was. Instead, he could have focused on the skills required for the position and marketed himself accordingly. In such situations instead of outright lying or embellishing our resume we could market our skills. Brainstorm as to what is it that you can bring to the table – an analytical mind, problem solving ability, a logical thinking process, being a peoples person, etc. Once you’ve identified them, make a wholesome package which is attractive, sellable and present it, without lying or fibbing. Use your cover letter to weave your narrative as to why you’re the best fit for the job. Join the dots for the employer and make them see how you’re most suitable for the position.Use your cover letter to weave your narrative as to why you’re the best fit for the job. Join the dots for the employer and make them see how you’re most suitable for the position. Click To Tweet
Make the potential employers understand how the experience and education you do have makes you the best fit for the job. Let’s work with what we have and work upon ourselves than on embellishing our resumes.
Honesty is always the best policy. It’s easier to remember the truth than to remember fabricated stories. Honesty is always the best policy. It’s easier to remember the truth than to remember fabricated stories. Click To TweetMoreover, background verification agencies like ours earn our bread and butter by unearthing lies, frauds, deceits and fake claims. Just a little friendly advice to my friend and to all of you out there, almost every company hires a verification agency to carry out a plethora of checks on prospective candidates. A lot of them get exposed, take our word for that. Don’t be one of them. It’s not worth it.
Little white lies on your resume will eventually lead to big black spots on your career and reputation.Little white lies on your resume will eventually lead to big black spots on your career and reputation. Click To Tweet