Being honest on your resume and not embellishing your accomplishments are incredibly important when applying for a job. This is especially true because it’s easier than ever for employers to use technology to fact check, and they can easily spot falsities. If an employer does find incorrect or misleading information, it can end up costing you a job or result in dismissal if you’re already employed. Here are some of the areas that employers most commonly verify and need to be air tight.
If you were unemployed for a lengthy period, it’s not something you want to showcase to an employer, because it can make you look questionable. However, you definitely don’t want to lie and try to cover employment gaps, because there’s a good chance that an employer will find out. If you were out of work for a while, you can highlight other productive activities you took part in, such as working on your own projects, volunteering, etc.
According to Avid Careerist, 95 percent of employers verify former employers, which topped their list of verified resume data. While it may make you sound more professional by saying that you worked for some high-profile company, it’s probably going to come back to haunt you, and you’re likely to get caught if it’s not true. That’s why you should only list genuine former employees who you’ve legitimately worked for in the past.
This is perhaps one of the most consistently embellished areas on resumes, and it’s all-too-easy to tweak job titles to your advantage. When it comes to listing titles, it’s important to stick with what was used on your formal job description. However, if you were given extra responsibilities in a previous position, it’s fine to point them out as long as it doesn’t augment the job title. For example, if you were originally brought on as a manufacturing worker and performed some managerial duties later on, you could use the job title, “Manufacturing Worker (with Managerial responsibilities).”
Awards and Honors
It may be tempting to exaggerate and say that you won some prestigious award in the past to portray yourself in a more-positive light – but in reality, this is never a good idea. A little fact checking on an employer’s end can quickly uncover the truth, and it’s going to make you look bad. Consequently, you should make sure that any awards or honors you list are accurate in title, date and reason for receiving it.
Finally, there’s the issue of fibbing on educational accomplishments. Some examples include increasing a GPA to a higher number than it actually was or saying that a degree was obtained when it wasn’t actually completed. This too can get you in trouble, so it’s important to be completely transparent with your level of education.