Exaggerating on your resume may seem like a good idea to stand out and get job interviews. Trust us, lying or exaggerating on your resume will come to haunt you at a later date. Minor things like claiming credit for something where you had a small role is OK, but it goes beyond the pale, it could be a disaster. You may end up losing your job.
Well, you are not alone in thinking of whether to embellish your resume with highfalutin claims. According to a survey by RobertHalf, a staffing company, nearly 46 percent of applicants misrepresent or stretch the truth.
Now before you say, “Well, everybody is doing it. So why not I?” We agree that it is a concerning trend. The risks and consequences of lying on a resume and getting caught can be high and result in loss of your job.
Recruiters and hiring managers are good at noticing various inconsistencies in what is on your resume, your online profile, and what you may say in the interviews. Plus, most companies rely on background verifications and reference checks.
Instead of exaggerating or lying on your resume, you can still make your resume stand out by some simple, actionable resume tips and tricks – mainly using action verbs, quantifying your achievements, and portraying your profile positively.
Honesty is the better policy when it comes to applying for a job. Create a resume that will help you sell yourself and validate the contents to ensure you’re portraying an accurate picture of your background and experience.
Try these strategies and ideas for writing about your experience and education be compelling and help you stand out.
Strategies to Avoid Exaggerating on your Resume:
Seek help from a professional resume writer.
If your resume is not resulting in interview calls, and despite sending dozens of resumes, you are hitting a wall, then it is time to consider seeking some help. Consider hiring a job coach or work with a resume service provider. Or at the very least, ask a few friends about your resume and seek suggestions and ideas for refinement.
List Correct Dates or Avoid adding them.
If you have a gap in your employment, don’t add up months or years to the previous job or current job. Instead, be honest and write dates correctly even if they show a gap. Or avoid mentioning times to avoid any issues with the first impression. And then develop a persuasive answer an answer to explain the gap.
Use the Correct Job Titles.
For example, you are a director of sales in a company but was in effect the de facto head of sales, don’t exaggerate that you were the “SVP of Sales.” Instead, you can still list your official title, but in the description, you can mention your elevated role as the de facto sales head.
Don’t turn Molehills into Mountains.
Today everyone suggests you quantify everything and focus on achievements in your resume. That is the correct advice. But you cannot take the idea too far to exaggerate your role in convincing a customer to buy a $40 wine instead of $20 in your waiter role by indicating that you were responsible for doubling sales.
Are you a master or a novice?
If you list an alphabet soup of functional skills in your resume, be truthful about your level of proficiency and expertise. Reading one online article does not make you a DevOps expert or organizing a Church cookout does not make you a project management guru.
Are hobbies something you do and enjoy?
First, our advice is not to list hobbies unless they are related to your job. Even if you do, don’t say, “I enjoy running marathons.” Or write that you play golf with a scratch golfer level handicap. These things are easily verifiable.
Do actual volunteer work.
Volunteering is a worthy endeavor and adds luster to your resume. So, don’t lie on your resume. There is no need to exaggerate. Just do it.
Don’t double your salary.
Your past salary is one factor in negotiating a better package in your new job. There is no need to list double your real wage. It may look out of the ordinary and raise red flags. Secondly, the new compensation package is dependent on the new company’s pay scales and your role.
Forget about grades.
Outside of academia, few employers will want to hear about your GPA. On the other hand, you might want to brag about graduating summa cum laude if the facts bear it out.
List Real Degrees from Real Universities.
Don’t exaggerate a one-day course as a degree. Don’t indicate you completed a degree when you dropped out after a few months. For example, if you attended a half-day program in “Negotiation and Persuasion Skills” at Harvard, saying you have a degree from Harvard is not going to fly.