When looking for a new job, you might have heard the only way to actually get noticed is to lie on your resume. But is it ever really a good idea? Isn’t it better to risk losing out on a role than to be caught out for potential fraud?
We’ve done the research on which lies are off limits, and which things you can stretch a little.
We’re not talking about the bartender who calls himself a “mixologist”, or the standard line about volunteering at a homeless shelter. This is about pretending you are qualified for a job you aren’t experienced enough to do.
What should I refrain from lying about?
Job titles are not as vague as they might seem. They are worded in a very specific way, so it’s not a good idea to tweak current job titles to suit a potential role—because employers will know. So, if you were a HR assistant, don’t say you were a HR manager.
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“It’s actually unusual for job titles to be grey,” Keith Rosser, head of screening at recruitment agency Reed, told The Guardian.
“Employers know the difference between a business development manager and a business development director and while you should be positive about your experience, the long-term damage to your career can be greater than any benefit you’d get from making something up.”
Clearly, you also shouldn’t lie about your education on your resume. It’s so easy to be caught out on this, and it would be such a shame to get to the final stages of the job process, only to fail the background check.
Another no-no is putting together a huge laundry list of (fabricated) technological skills. Sure, we all pretend to be highly proficient at Excel and Photoshop—but are you really an expert website coder? Too many “skills” will raise some red flags with employers.
Your past salaries, however, are a bit more of a grey area.
HR worker Liz Ryan writes for Forbes that she thinks it’s “horrendous to pry into someone’s personal finances”. She thinks it’s not a priority for recruiters to check how much you used to be paid.
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