Even a white lie on a resume can easily turn into a very embarrassing moment in an interview, an opportunity lost and a bridge burned. Worse yet, you get hired and everyone figures out that you don’t know what you’re doing in about a week. You have a target on your back and are resented by your team who really needed your support.
Here are some examples of flat out lies on your resume – and if you have any of these – take them off. The sooner you can come clean and represent your skills, qualifications, and be completely forthright, the sooner you will land a job where you can start building some credibility, and stability in your life.
1) Listing programming languages when you aren’t even a programmer expecting that someone will be impressed with the key words.
Here is how the conversation will go with me:
Me: “So, it says here you can code in HTML, where did you pick that up?”
You: “Oh, well, uhhh, I guess in college.”
Me: “Really, what’s the url of the last website you programmed in HTML?”
Insert – embarrassing moment here.
2) Listing degrees on your resume that you never finished. Need I say more? It’s misleading and often, a lack of a completed degree will disqualify you for a position. That said, if the hiring manager or recruiter finds out after they’ve already invested time in talking to you – that you don’t meet those qualifications – it can leave a very bad taste in our mouths.
3) Be careful not to list technologies that you have worked alongside of, but not EXACTLY with. For example, it’s sort of misleading to include specific operating systems on your resume if you haven’t actually administered them. It’s a safe rule of thumb about technology on a resume to only include things you would be comfortable answering questions about. We know when you don’t know what you are talking about – it’s lame and makes you look like an idiot.
4) Don’t say things like “Social Media Marketing” and SEO if you only know the buzzwords and have never implemented a campaign.
5) Don’t list your aunt’s Los Angeles address on your resume when you live in Ohio and are planning on relocating as soon as you find a job. Best here is to just list your phone number and no address at all.
The bottom line of advice here is: Be prepared to discuss, in detail, your specific detailed experience in all areas you list on your resume. I’m not guaranteeing that you will be asked about everything – but do your best to avoid situations that cause embarrassment and burned bridges.
Those who can pass the interview “tests” and move on to get the job will soon be exposed. Two weeks on the job and you are having to explain why you couldn’t do the job they hired you to do. People are let down, time and money are wasted and you are back to square one on the job market feeling like a loser. Don’t lie. Don’t try to cheat the system. Apply to jobs that you are qualified for. Set yourself up for success. Control what you can control. The merits you have earned, the failures you’ve endured and who you are because of it all are good enough to get you a job – just not ALL jobs.