Imagine this: after weeks of scouring the classified section of the newspaper, you think you finally found a job that’s perfect for you. You look skim down the list of qualifications. Yep, you were made for this job. You can do that, and that, and that… whoops! You can’t really do that –but you can lie and say you can. If you think you’re the only one who has ever lied on a resume, well think again. According to recent statistics, a whopping 43 percent of people lie on their resumes to increase their chances of employment. While some have managed to pull off their lies in the past, lying on your resume is highly inadvisable. If caught, not only will you endure loads of embarrassment and guarantee being terminated, but you can possibly get blacklisted—and good luck trying to find another job then.
So what do people lie about anyway? Just about everything from falsifying job descriptions and duties; exaggerating past or current salaries; stretching dates to compensate for gaps in employment or downright inventing employers to add work experience /fill in gaps. Some even lie about their education and credentials. This lie has the most consequences— forging certificates/diplomas or falsely claiming to be a graduate from a particular school is a criminal offense. If employers choose to take you to court, you can be given a hefty fine or even face up to a year in prison. This lie is typically seen more with those who pursue an online education—they either unknowingly (or knowingly) enroll in a “diploma mill.” Whatever you do, do not put a diploma mill on your resume. You will lose all of your creditability.
The Lie Detector
But how will an employer be able to catch you in your lies anyway? There are several different ways actually. First, your potential employer will do several background checks. He or she may first look over your resume lightly and do a couple of Google searches or make a few phone calls to see if you’re worthy of an interview. But even if your resume passes through phase one and you get a call for an interview that does not mean you are “safe.” This is because after the interview is done expect employers to go through your resume with a tooth comb and call every single one of your references and prior employers. Interviewers may or may not do this personally. Typically, companies will hire third party sources to do background checks on potential hires. These third party sources are highly skilled and trained to verify facts. But even if you are offered the job you still aren’t safe. This is because some third party background checkers don’t complete their full investigation until about your third week on the job.
Then of course employers will be able to detect lies about qualifications and experience once in the work place. For example, if you said you could do something and you can’t do it, they will notice. This alone is grounds for termination. So the solution? Don’t lie—it’ll only catch up to you in the end. Instead focus on describing yourself in the best light, but don’t fabricate.
This guest contribution was submitted by Jamie Davis, who specializes in writing about masters degree. Questions and comments can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.