Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to your resume. Still, many job seekers embellish many aspects of their resumes in hopes of catching a hiring manager's attention. The following is a list of four of the most common resume lies that recruiters can spot a mile away.
1. Shady Schools
Some job seekers falsify their educational background by either listing schools that don't exist or by claiming to have earned degrees that they really didn't earn. Either way, a simple background check often uncovers these fraudulent claims. If you don't have the schooling necessary to qualify for the job, then you're not ready to apply. Even if you make it through the background check somehow, you'll probably be found out when it becomes apparent that you lack the skills and knowledge that you would've acquired through the proper schooling.
2. Mysterious Former Employers
In a desperate attempt to make up for a lack of experience, some job seekers have gone as far as fabricating entire companies to add to their resumes. In some cases, they'll have a friend or family member pose as a fake reference. Savvy hiring managers can step around this ploy by simply Googling the name of the company you listed, and calling the generic 800 number, rather than the number you gave them. If a Google search turns up no results, it's a major red flag to most potential employers, as even the smallest businesses will most likely have some sort of online presence.
3. Far-Fetched Accomplishments
Some job seekers add great amazingly impressive accomplishments to their resume to catch attention, but claiming too many achievements or ones that seem far-fetched compared to your age or experience level can be a red flag for hiring managers. Remember, hiring managers are going to cross-check all the information in your resume through background checks and speaking with your references, so don't lie about what you really did in previous positions. Even if you don't get caught, you may find yourself in way over your head when your new boss expects the same rock-star performance you claimed in your resume.
4. Overly Fancy Job Titles
Many candidates mistakenly believe that fluffing up their former job titles will make their work history seem more impressive or significant, but many hiring managers can see right through this common lie. Calling yourself a "Senior Executive Support Specialist" when "Executive Assistant" will do makes hiring managers wary of the rest of your resume. Additionally, some job seekers take it a step further by using a completely different job title than the one they actually had. Recruiters can easily find out the truth with a standard background check or by speaking with your references, so it's best to be truthful about previous titles.
Unfortunately, common lies, like the ones listed here, do catch hiring managers' attention, but for all the wrong reasons. The fact is, most recruiters are trained to spot fishy-sounding accomplishments and background details instantly and will likely toss your resume in the trash if it contains fabricated information. For best results, strive for honesty in your resume, during interviews and throughout the hiring process.
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