Did you know that you can lie on your resume? No, I don’t mean huge lies like “I was CEO of McDonalds’ or something like that. I mean tiny little lies, things that you really do not need to mention at all, the type of things that if mentioned, or not mentioned, could completely ruin yourchances of getting a job.
The first thing I want to talk about is crime. This is a big one. You should always state that you have committed a crime in the past if you were convicted. There is absolutely no need to mention that you committed a crime if you were not. I mean, there are plenty of people out there who will answer the question “have you taken drugs within the last ten years” with a yes. You don’t have to put that. If you have not been convicted of a crime, or have not taken drugs recently, then nobody is going to be any the wiser. You can bet your bottom dollar that if you do answer that question with a ‘yes’, then your application is going straight to the bottom of the pile, or even into that shredder.
You can even lie about your job title. A good example here is ‘consultant’. A lot of people are called consultants. That is fine. However that tells the recruiter absolutely nothing. You can be a bit more descriptive with your job title to try and make your application stand out, even if that is not your official job title. For example; we can turn ‘consultant’ into ‘Senior Software Developer’, if you work in software at least. What I am trying to say here, is that if your job title says nothing about your job, you can feel free to spruce it up a little. Nobody is going to mind, although Liz Ryan disagrees on Forbes.com.
One useful piece of advice that I once received was that you can embellish your accomplishments a little bit. I do not mean go crazy here. However, there are a few people out there who will avoid writing down certain accomplishments because the project didn’t go to plan. However, if you know where you went wrong and know where you went right on that project, then you should write it down on your resume. As long as you can defend yourself during an interview if you are asked questions about it, then you are in the right. Even the interviewers there will not have been successful in everything that they do. All they want to see is people who are capable of recognizing the mistakes that they have made in the past and know how to improve in the future.
You can go even further than this in order to ‘big up’ the skills that you have, providing you did not lie outright. For example, the following doesn’t sound good:
- Worked a cash register at a local store.
The following does sound good:
- Worked closely with five other people at a local retail store. Responsibilities included teamwork, cash handling, and ensuring that the customer experience was of the highest- quality.
You have not strictly lied, but you have certainly made the job sound a little bit better. Right awayyou have instantly made yourself stand out against all of the other resumes in that pile. This is exactly what you want to happen.
Do you have volunteer experience under your belt? Well, mention it on that resume. You don’t have to say that it is volunteer experience (although it will look just as good in the eyes of the potential recruiter). You were most likely performing the same tasks that a paid employee would perform, so you can write it down. It doesn’t matter if you were paid for the job or not, all that matters is thatyou actually gained some experience by performing it.
Finally; you should not have large gaps in your work experience. This is a huge red flag for employers. If you can, you can try and move the dates around a little of the times that you were employed (recruiters will hardly look into this), and that will enable you to really cut down on that employment hole. The bigger the hole, the more the recruiter is going to consider throwing away your application.
Remember; you should never lie about your experience. Do not lie about qualifications. Do not lie about grades that you got at school. Do not lie about where you have worked. You may end up getting the job, but somebody will find out eventually. If they do find out you have lied on your application then you can be sure that you will never be working in that industry again. They will make sure of it. Word does spread quite fast in certain industries.