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The Top 9 Resume Lies

February 21 2020 - The first thing you'll do, usually, when you're starting to look for work is to create a glowing resume for yourself. Likely you'll be acutely aware that it's the very first glace a prospective employer might get of you, so you'll want it to be as attractive as possible. This means that when you're composing your resume, you might be tempted to embellish the details a bit, but that might not always be the best idea, particularly if you're embellishing on things that are in our list of the top 10 things job seekers lie about on their resume. Let's have a look at some of these things now.

Your Employment History

This one is probably the biggest one. Your employment history is likely one of the things any prospective employer will zero in on when reading your resume, so you might be tempted to make your employment history sound as good as possible This might be by adding a few things into your list of what you actually did at your previous job, or changing what was expected of you. A quick call to your previous employer or their human resources department could mean that your cleverly worded resume entry is found out for being embellished, so rather don't.

Your Abilities, Particularly if They're Technical

In the modern office, most people are required to have some degree of computer and technical skills. It might just be proficiency with Microsoft Office or calling yourself an expert in Excel when you've only used it for the most rudimentary things. There's a chance that employers are going to ask you to demonstrate these technical abilities, so you'll want to make sure you're proficient at them, or just leave them off your resume.

Straight Up Made Up Jobs

Just don't do this. Don't make up jobs you never had because it's very easy for employers to verify this information. A quick internet search for the company you claim to have worked for might bring up no results or shine a light right into your misinformation.

Our advice? Just list the jobs you've actually had and be honest about them.

Language Fluency and Abilities

Unless you're actually a fluent Spanish speaker, it's probably not a good idea to say so because you spent a few commutes listening to a Spanish lessons podcast. For obvious reasons, languages are one of the first lies most job seekers are found out for. Just be honest and list the languages and the level of proficiency honestly.

School Leaving Results

As you get older, your school results matter less and less, but to a fresh school leaver, or someone in their early 20s, they might have more of an impact. Boosting your GPA (grade point average) might seem like a good idea, but honestly, there's not even much point listing what it is because most prospective employers won't even ask for it. Just leave it off so you don't have to lie about it.

Education History

Yes, people will lie about their education history. This might be in the form of what college you went to or what degree you've earned. It might be a smaller thing like your results, but whatever reason you have for lying about your education history, you might consider using a service to check you're your public education history is correct. Sites like Public Records Reviews list everything from your education history to your conviction record - you can validate information here.

Job Titles at Previous Companies

This one might fall closer to a white lie than an outright misdirection, but changing words in your job titles or even just changing the entire job title is quite a common lie told on resumes. Usually, this would be ramping up the responsibility level, however subtly. Removing ‘junior' from a job title is a pretty common and quick embellishment.

Your Salary

Up to 40% of people lie on their resume or in interviews about what they were earning or are currently earning, believing it might result in them getting a higher offer if they are offered employment. Once again, employers can get this information from your previous employer if they're thorough. Even more damaging, you might just be pricing yourself out of consideration. There's no real purpose to lying about what you earn.

Volunteer Work

Being an upstanding member of society and contributing to the social consciousness by doing voluntary work or spending time at outreach programs might look great on your resume, but make sure you've actually done them. This is incredibly immoral to lie about and lying about it is actually the complete opposite of what you're trying to show them - that you're kind, caring and selfless.

As you can see, people will lie about almost anything on their resume. Some things you might be able to get away with, but many more you won't. Maybe not immediately, but over your employment with any prospective employers, lying on your resume might end you up in some real hot water and is never worth it. As with everything in life, honesty is the best policy.


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