Lying On Your Resume (Have you? Should You?)
We've all been there...
Hunched over a laptop screen, beads of sweat collecting on your forehead as you stare blankly at your resume while the evil voice in your head keeps reminding you...
It's not going to be enough.
It's truly an agonizing feeling to be applying for a job that you know you are under-qualified for. And inevitably you wind up at a crossroads of sorts, where you have to look in the mirror and make a decision.
What do I do?
What are my options?
Maybe I should fudge this a bit?
Well, apparently you are not alone. I just came across this recent study done by theLadders.com.
By all means head over and check outh the study but the quick and dirty of it, is that nearly 30% of people have lied on their resume at some point!
After reading it, I wasn't particularly surprised by the results but it did give me an urge to put down my thoughts on the issue...
Should I Lie On My Resume?
The questions is, should you do it?
In my opinion, the answer should always be an emphatic "no".
Here's the deal. While you might get lucky and breeze through the interview process and secure the position (after all, nearly 80% of "resume liars" are never outed), the path to this result is fraught with danger.
Consider this: If the hiring manager busts you, not only will you not get the job, but you run the risk of being exposed across your industry, meaning it will be nearly impossible to get a job in your field (outside of moving to a new town, of course).
Think about the ramifications of this, especially if you've spent tens of thousands of dollars on an education or certification in your field! This to me is a factor most people seem to overlook.
Also, for a lot of jobs hiring managers are going to be doing their due diligence in finding out about your experience. And that can go beyond simply phoning or emailing your references.
Here's another important thing to consider. The risk doesn't end with the job interview. There is lots of time for your secrets to come out after you have secured the position and are beginning a new career with a company.
Who's to say that you aren't put into an awkward position that depends on a lie you've made on your resume? Imagine the embarrassment you would feel while being outed, your secret being shared around a company you've just joined.
Even though there is only a 20% chance you'll get caught, the affect that being busted could have on your life is so monumental that it simply isn't worth it.
What To Do Instead
Look, you're simply not going to be qualified for every position. This is a fact we all must face.
The thing is, hiring managers know this. And they aren't always looking for a candidate with the most experience, or who attended an Ivy League School. More often than not, companies are looking for individuals that are a good fit.
So keep this in mind. Focus on being the best version of yourself you can be, not a version of yourself that is mired in deceit and controversy.
There are ways to supercharge your resume that don't involve lying. Jeff and I cover some great ways in our How To Make A Resume 101 article, if you're interested.
And here's one more tip:
Every company is going to have a set of skills and abilities that they put a lot of value in (at The Interview Guys we collectively call these "Qualities") and demand that their candidates possess. You need to figure out what these Qualities are and weave them into every stage of your application and interview. We call this method the Tailoring Method, and it is the single biggest tactic you can use to get yourself a job.
For more information on the Tailoring Method, head over to my article Job Interview Questions and Answers 101.
Anyway, that's it for now. Good Luck!