By Andrea Trespalacios, Peer Advisor
Oftentimes, we are all tempted to embellish our resumes a little too much, omit some slightly important information, or if we’re struggling, add some strong non-truths. Yes, the job market is competitive, and many other people also want that job you really, really want, but securing a job with lies can be very dangerous. While it’s obvious that lying on your resume goes against the whole purpose of a resume, there could be potential career damaging repercussions.
One of the main ways in which some people alter their resume is by purposefully eliminating any unemployment periods. This is easily done, just extend some dates and it’ll look like you’ve never spent a day without a job. This of course is attractive to employers. However, this easy change, which might seem like a quick fix, could ultimately cost you that job you really wanted and could have gotten without having to lie.
To demonstrate the severity of lying on your resume and that no one who does it is safe, take Yahoo’s CEO Scott Thompson. After five months in the new charge, it was discovered that he did not have a computer science degree, but instead he had graduated with an accounting degree from an institution that didn’t even offer computer science (Stewart 2012). The claim was investigated and after a very short tenure, Thompson was fired.
For students and young professionals, a common area for embellishment is the skills section. Some people get a little carried away with their proficiencies – stating they know much more than they actually do. Taking one semester of French and remembering a string of words does not count as being proficient. Similarly, knowing Microsoft Word and PowerPoint really well does not mean you are an expert in Microsoft Office. While these small white lies may make your resume and application more competitive, the potential consequences outweigh any benefits incurred. The last thing any professional should want is to be hired, realize you cannot do one of your assigned tasks because you do not actually have that skill, and subsequently be fired. These actions will set the tone for the rest of your career, as having a bad relationship with a previous employer or reference can cost you many other opportunities.