The 7 Worst Lies to Tell on Your Resume

“It’s never appropriate to misrepresent yourself,” says Kevin M. Rosenberg, managing partner of executive search firm Bridgegate in Irvine, CA. First, if you get the job, you can lose it as soon as your lie comes to light. Second, it’s a huge risk: Rosenberg says most companies conduct background checks, verify degree completion and confirm past employment. Third, your reputation is on the line: “Integrity is everything to employers, so don’t call yours into question,” says Rosenberg.
People embellish job titles to drive up compensation or seniority, but it could backfire.

Job Duration
Candidates often list only years of employment, say, 2005 to 2007, rather than specific months, say, December 2005 to January 2007, to hide that they’ve jumped from job to job. It’s better to address a high-turnover career head-on. Give concrete reasons for multiple jobs in a short span. Include a parenthetical note on your resume that you left due to corporate relocation or company shutdown. People also cover up how long they’ve been out of work. But there’s no need to whittle down your six-month stretch of unemployment to three months on your resume. “Employers understand it’s a tough economy for job-seekers.

In this competitive market, you may want to exaggerate your technical expertise or knowledge of industry-specific software. Not a good idea, Employers expect a candidate to be able to function as her resume. In short: Just because you’ve dabbled in a computer program or taken an introductory class doesn’t make you proficient in it. Even if you manage to get the job, you may falter when the company realizes your skills aren’t as strong as you stated. Instead, she recommends accurately describing your competency on a scale: For basic knowledge, say “trained in” or “familiar with.” For medium experience, use “solid understanding” or “proven.” And for expert-level knowledge, try “demonstrated success” or “strong ability.”

No one wants to be eliminated early in the process for not finishing college, so some applicants list years spent at a college or university without mentioning the degree. If you didn’t graduate, specify your class standing or number of credits remaining. Always be truthful about your major. Just look at what happened to former Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson.

Taking all the credit for team successes is a common resume blunder. Companies want to know how you’ll integrate with the workforce. “They look for people who can lead and inspire as part of a team.” Convey your ability to collaborate on your resume by replacing “I” with “we” where appropriate.

Hiring managers prefer local candidates, so why not use a friend or family member’s address if you don’t live in the city where you want to work? You may have a problem once you receive that coveted call. But if you’re legitimately staying with a friend for a couple of weeks and can make yourself available for interviews, it’s okay to use that address on your resume.

some candidates leave off ten years of experience to avoid seeming too old, while others may change degree dates because they’re afraid of being too young. “Just be who you are, hope you’re dealing with an open-minded company and walk in there with your best foot forward.”

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