Resume Fakers Never Prosper…

14 Jun

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.

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7 Responses to “Resume Fakers Never Prosper…”

  1. Ryan June 15, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

    Angela – these are good tips. As someone who hires, I always ask for specifics, detail, and examples around anything that someone puts on their resume — like SEO, HTML, even Excel and PowerPoint. The bottom line is this: putting the latest buzz words on your resume might get you a phone call and may even get you a face to face interview but if you can’t talk about how you’ve executed on it, you’ll be done with me.

    P.S. Love the “job hunt hero” handle!

    • jobhunthero June 16, 2011 at 3:29 am #

      Thank you for the comment Ryan. You know just as well as I do how many people try to pose as something that they aren’t without the long term goal in mind. I appreciate the feedback!!

  2. Pamela June 29, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

    “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.” Whenever I tried to do that in a job hunt, they’d immediately ask for my address. Why is listing an aunt’s address really that dishonest when a hiring manager would discount you immediately otherwise.

    • jobhunthero July 5, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

      They usually don’t discount you if they see no address. When they ask you for your location, you can explain that you have a place near their office that you are planning on moving to but since you haven’t actually relocated yet, you didn’t want to be be misleading on a resume. I get annoyed when people say that they were misrepresenting where they live to get me to interview them. If the truth is, you don’t live there – then don’t list an address that’s not yours. It comes across like you are giving me the run-around. If the company isn’t willing to take a chance on a relocation – you don’t stand a chance anyway. That’s just life.

  3. something2writeabout September 26, 2011 at 1:19 am #

    Question for you: Is it ok for companies to issue mandatory proficiency tests for office programs such as Microsoft Word, Outlook, etc? Twice I was tested in office programs that were newer versions of the same programs I had used my whole working life, but I couldn’t navigate them as usual, and therefore did not perform well on the tests. I feel that because I did not pass the tests with flying colors, that I was not hired. But I feel that most basic office programs are learning IN the role, and without problem. What is your take?

    • jobhunthero August 28, 2012 at 1:48 am #

      Answer: yes it’s totally “legal” and more common that you think for companies to practice this type of “weed out” criteria. It is due in my opinion to lazy or sometimes non existent HR who need a quick way to narrow down the pool of resumes because their are a zillion applicants on their desk. Sometimes it’s reflective of an overworked hiring manager who doesn’t have a recruiters help and who needs to fill a position very quickly, has zero time to train, and no time to wait for someone to get up to speed. My advice to you is…move on and quick. Do you really want to be a part of a company or team that values the exact version of excel you know more than your ability to connect with their customers, manage a project or solve problems? You have to find somewhere that fits you both skill wise as well as culturally. 🙂

  4. Alibek October 24, 2012 at 3:58 am #

    Thank you! It’s very useful. Especially, for students who just graduated and looking for a job or as in my case, for somebody who wants to get an internship. Frankly, I had an idea of adding something that I’m not particularly good at. Totally helped me to rethink what I’m gonna put in my CV next time.

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