Lying on your resume

Resume liars

Lying on your resume can be a deal killer. When jobs started becoming tight after 9/11, thousands of job hunters—including candidates for CEO positions—started lying on their resumes and being untruthful during interviews. Most were caught red-handed.

Employers have become very careful about who they hire ever since. While prospective employers will not always monitor the facts on your resume, they often hire outside organizations to perform employment background checks for them.

When prospective employers call places where you’ve worked to ask for information about you, most companies will cooperate only by giving your dates of employment and salary range. Needless to say, can lose your job by exaggerating salary. That’s what happened to a friend of one of my career-counseling clients in New York.

My client set up an interview with his boss for a friend and former colleague who had been out of work for over a year. The friend, who lied about salary on the application, was hired for an administrative position. After a month on the new job, the boss called this new hire into his office and fired him.

The now ex-employee had exaggerated his previous salary by four thousand dollars. The policy of the bank that hired him was to provide a salary commensurate to the one he previously earned.

The moral of this story is to always tell the truth to prospective employers. The same goes for your resume. Sure, it’s okay to make yourself look better than you actually are. But to exaggerate or to lie about titles, salaries, or achievements is a big no-no. You can get caught and not hired. Or you can get caught and be fired like the person you just read about.

Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright Miguel De Cervantes made the point about 400 years ago when he wrote, “Honesty is the best policy.”

Here’s the complete quote from De Cervantes:

“I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy.”

When it comes to your career management and job search, you jeopardize your future by lying about your past or lying on a resume.

You can learn how to write an honest and persuasive resume in my book, “Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach.” In the chapter titled Resume Writing Tips you’ll learn all about resume writing in easy to understand one-minute coaching vigynettes. Learn More

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Copyright ©2016 by Ransom (Randy) Place

About the Author

RANDY PLACE IS A JOB-FINDING and executive coach, writer on career topics, broadcaster, and host of For twenty-three years, he helped thousands of employees who had been let go from JPMorgan Chase find jobs. And he coached executives at CBS Television, Pitney Bowes, and major outplacement firms in New York on job-finding techniques, communications skills, and selling strategies. An accomplished seminar leader and speaker, Randy has designed and presented workshops on interviewing, telephoning techniques, job-search writing, and sales training nationwide. Randy's groundbreaking nationally syndicated radio series, Your Career Service, has been heard on over two hundred radio stations across the United States. And his articles on career topics have appeared in the Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly. A former broadcast journalist in New York, he has also been a commercial spokesperson for an array of national and regional advertisers. In addition, Randy was a sales executive at NBC Radio and the New York City sales manager for syndication at Wolper Productions. He holds a Bachelor's in Sociology and Broadcasting from Syracuse University, and a Master's in Journalism from New York University.