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Why You Shouldn't Lie on Your Resume

Why You Shouldn't Lie on Your Resume

Have you ever lied on your resume?

Charles Purdy | Monster+Hot Jobs senior editor

Truth or Consequences

And even if false credentials get you the job, those untruths may come back to haunt you.

“You’re subject to immediate dismissal if it turns out you misrepresented something,” says Nason.

If your company is acquired, for instance, the acquirer’s HR department may perform an audit of its new employees. Or your background may be checked when you apply for a promotion. Former Notre Dame football coach George O’Leary and celebrity chef Robert Irvine are just two of the people who made news when false background information cost them high-profile jobs.

Keeping It Real

Career experts have practical advice on how to truthfully deal with some of the problems that may cause people to lie — follow it, and you’ll be able to sleep more easily at night.

Gaps of Unemployment: Just because you weren’t getting paid for something doesn’t mean you weren’t being productive and gaining skills. If you volunteered or worked on your own projects, say, you should speak to those things on your resume, in a cover letter or in an interview.

Misrepresentative Titles: “Job seekers need to lay claim to projects and results that may not have been in their formal job descriptions,” says Ryan. “Here’s an example. An office manager I know took on HR in her company after the HR coordinator left. The office manager’s title was never changed, but she took on responsibility for payroll, benefits and so on. She put all of that on her resume, and changed her title to ‘Office Manager (with HR responsibilities).’ That’s a perfectly good way for her to brand herself, because she hasn’t changed the title to something her old employer wouldn’t recognize or support.”

Past Salaries: Ryan also has advice on how to deal with discussing a past salary you feel was too low. She notes that you should arm yourself with information about the salary you should be earning. For more salary-related information, see Monster’s Salary Tools.

Skills: If you’re tempted to lie about having a technical skill, for instance, the right thing to do is clear: Gain that skill by enrolling in a class (or committing to learning it on your own). Then you’ll be able to truthfully explain to potential employers that you’re working on getting up-to-speed in that area.

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