5 Reasons to Be Honest on Your Resume
Your resume is the first look potential employers will get at your experience, your skill set, and your capability. You’ve cleaned it up so that it provides a beautiful summary of your work history and your skills. In many cases, however, you’ll find yourself tempted to alter the truth a bit, from exaggerating your skills to outright lying about your work history. If you’ve considered being less than honest on your resume, keep these five reasons to be honest on your resume in mind.
1. You don’t want to end up in over your head. Sure, it sounds like your dream job–and maybe it will be, five or ten years down the line. If you have to lie to get your foot in the door, however, it’s likely that you don’t have the experience necessary to handle the responsibilities associated with the job. Instead, be honest about your experience and your skills. If you’re a good fit for the position, the company may be willing to work with you anyway. If you’re not, then the best job for you is still out there!
2. It’s too easy to check your work history. You never know when someone will have a contact at the business where you’ve pretended to work. If it’s discovered that your resume is dishonest, it will immediately go in the reject pile.
3. It’s clear when you’re trying too hard. Interviewers and HR departments go through a lot of resumes. It doesn’t take them long to be able to see the difference between an honest resume and one that has been significantly exaggerated. Instead of letting your resume end up in the discard pile, try being honest. It will give you a leg up in the hiring process.
4. The interview will tell. Not only is it difficult to remember what lies you’ve told under pressure–especially if you’re doctoring your resume individually for each potential employer–but if you don’t have the experience or skill you claim, you may find yourself unable to answer key questions during the interview. When you’re honest, an interviewer will be able to decide if they’re willing to work with the blanks in your skill set, rather than simply getting through the interview so they can move on to someone else once they discover your dishonesty.
5. You won’t get to show off the real you. A doctored resume focuses on the skills that you think an employer might like to have, not on the ones you’ve already acquired. Sure, that year spent working at a fast food restaurant wasn’t really a manager’s position, but it taught you a lot about customer service. Your typing may not be up to 100 words per minute, but you’re tenacious, determined, and willing to see any task through to the end. Show off your real skills, not the ones that you imagine an employer will want!
Writing your resume isn’t an easy task. Whether you’re applying for your first job out of school or looking to improve your current employment situation, you want to put your best foot forward for potential employers. Honesty, however, is always the best policy–and makes for a better resume in the end.