Four reasons why you should not lie on a resume

What should you do when you find a job post that looks almost perfect for you? Almost, you have all the required skills except one. Should you move on or should you apply anyway? If you do decide to go for it, should you ignore the fact that you are missing that skill? Should you lie and say you have it? Choose one of the first two options because lying on your resume is never a good idea.

Here are four reasons you should never lie, exaggerate or say anything that isn't true on your resume:

1. One Lie Will Lead to More

Let's say you ignore this advice and go ahead and include on your resume this skill you don't have. You've reasoned that it's just one thing, and it may not even be that important to the employer. Then your resume gets through the initial screening, and you get called in for a job interview, and—surprise—the interviewer asks you about that one skill. The one that you didn't think would be that important. So, you find yourself in a quandary. You can't very well say, "Oops. My bad. About that skill you said you require? I lied on my resume and I don't really have it." So you don't say anything, which in effect is another lie, but on the interview this time. How far will this go? What happens if you get the job and you have to continue to pretend to have this skill even though you don't? Not only did you lie to a potential boss, but you have also now lied to your current one.

2. You Will Always Worry About Getting Caught

Once you tell a lie, there is always a risk that someone will discover the truth. Ask yourself if you are willing to live continually in fear of that happening. Will it be during the job interview? You may not be able to answer questions about the skill in question. Will your references rat you out when the prospective employer contacts them? You cannot and should not ask them to lie for you. If you make it through the application process, will you be unable to perform your job because you don't have all the skills necessary? Is that when everyone will know you lied. Regardless of how or when you get caught, it will be embarrassing. Imagine your boss calling you into his office, looking you in the eye and saying, in a grave voice, "I know." Wouldn't you want to be swallowed up by a big hole in the floor?

3. You Will Probably Lose Your Job

After your boss finds out you lied on your resume and then continued to lie through the weeks, months or even years of your tenure there, chances are quite good he will fire you. It may not matter if you otherwise did an excellent job. He will have lost trust in you. Even if you had a wonderful working relationship before, this probably destroyed it. Now you will not only have to begin your job search all over again, but you will also have to explain to prospective employers why your boss fired you. You can always omit the job from your resume, but if you were there for a while, you will have to explain the gap in your employment. There's a financial impact to consider too. You may not be able to collect unemployment insurance since you were fired for violating your employers' rules.

4. It Will Damage Your Reputation

You will not only have to deal with the financial implications of being unemployed and the process of looking for a new job, you will have to worry about how much your deception harmed your professional reputation. Could it affect your ability to get hired? It will depend on whether you plan to stay in the same industry? If you work in one where everyone knows everyone (and that is the case in many industries), you could face some rough times ahead. Your bad reputation may follow you around for a while

(Article by Dawn Roseburg McKay, a career planning expert)

Growing Resume Inflation Makes Due Diligence in Hiring

Economic lulls force companies to search for savvy methods to ensure profitability. Most follow the obvious paths of containing costs and practicing fiscal conservatism; however, when it comes to saving on the costs associated with risk management, some may not realize the payoffs to be gained by investing in human resources expertise. With a slow economy and high unemployment rates, good and even great employees are jobless. These conditions create the right environment for an opportunistic business to overhaul its work force with new, more qualified employees. Doing so can help to correct the cause of every single risk management problem: employees.

The best risk management practice is for a company to do their homework prior to making a new hire. This type of due diligence does not start with the interview process; on the contrary, the best method to finding the right employee is to do your research before you grant him or her an initial interview.

Perform Due Diligence Prior to Hiring

Steve Williams of EctoHR, a leading national human resource consulting and outsourcing firm has discovered a frightening trend that has occurred since July 2008. Typically, EctoHR is called upon to perform reference and background checks for their clients. In reviewing his company’s yearly data, Mr. Williams has found that through the first quarter of 2008, 13.5% of all resume and background verifications his company completed came back with a flagged result, such as a criminal conviction, education discrepancy or employment history fabrication. However, when looking at the time period from July 2008 through the present, that number has risen to over 20%. The real problem has been with employment history fabrication. Historically, Mr. Williams noted that EctoHR has had an average of 6.5% of applicants caught misrepresenting their employment history. That number has jumped to 13% this year and the reason, Mr. Williams states, is obvious: “As the time between jobs stretches on, a higher percentage of job seekers change their resume in an attempt to be a more attractive candidate.”

To the unwitting employer, such deceit can have major financial repercussions, especially when it comes to the risk management arena. Inexperienced or unqualified employees present multiple issues prior to and during litigation. Prior to litigation, an employee that does not have the experience to observe a dangerous condition or does not have the knowledge to perform routine, industry accepted protocols, can lead to disastrous results such as severe personal injury, costly property damage and even death. Further, when faced with an accident investigation or other serious matter, such an employee will likely not appreciate company policy, causing the company excessive litigation costs and attorneys fees where they could have been avoided. During litigation, inexperienced or unqualified employees present similar problems. During an attorney meeting, such employees are often afraid to provide pivotal facts that leave defense attorneys without a clear liability picture. They also tend to share irrelevant and harmful information at deposition and trial. Finally, they can make a bad presentation to a jury when discussing their knowledge and experience about their job.

Realistically, these problems can cost an average company hundreds of thousands of dollars in litigation costs, attorney fees, settlement fees and insurance premiums each year. However, the solution can be had for fraction of that. Background checks that include verification of criminal, educational and employment history typically cost less than $50.00. From a risk management standpoint, trying to save money by performing just an employment verification is not recommended. Most states have rules of evidence similar to the federal rules, that permit felony and misdemeanor convictions involving theft and dishonesty to be used to discredit an employee’s testimony. An attorney typically will request education records to verify the deposition testimony of an employee. Therefore, if your business is going to skip a criminal and educational background check, be aware that should a bad hire lead to a lawsuit, the opposing attorneys will not be skipping any checks.

Reap the Benefits of your Diligence after Hiring

Criminal, educational background and employment verifications can also assist the employer after a hire is made. Consider, for example a common carrier that employs a driver to deliver goods interstate. If the employee is involved in an accident resulting in personal injury, a common claim made against the employer is one of negligent hiring. In a claim for negligent hiring, the injured party’s attorney must prove that the employer did not perform due diligence in hiring its driver. Typically, employers for such transport companies do not perform the type of investigation that is suggested above. In fact the industry norm is usually to obtain an application and a driving record. By obtaining this basic information, an unwitting employer is essentially relying on an application that is increasingly likely to be inaccurate and a driving record that usually comes after the employee is hired. If your company is doing little more than this when making employment decisions, you could be setting yourself up for a claim for negligent hiring. However, if you had obtained an employment and education verification and performed a criminal background check and retained that information in your employee’s file, you would have taken great steps toward limiting your company’s susceptibility to a claim for negligent hiring.

Performing routine background checks can also protect an employer from liability in a claim brought by an applicant that was not hired. Occasionally, applicants that are not hired file claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the state equivalent to the EEOC. When such claims are made by applicants, it is imperative for an employer to demonstrate consistency in hiring to refute claims that the justification for not hiring the applicant was discriminatory. Often times, an employer can refute that allegation by relying on background documentation to establish a non-discriminatory basis for failing to hire the applicant.


In a difficult economy, trouble and opportunity go hand in hand. Competitive businesses have the opportunity to upgrade the quality of their work forces. But each individual hiring decision made is more important in this situation, given the overall rise in unemployment. Smart employers will not skip on quality background checks so they can ensure that each hiring decision is appropriate. They also know that performing due diligence now will save them risk management headaches later.

(Article by Eric Conn and David Yates )

Resume Inflation - Ethical Dilemma

It is already 6 months after the compulsory one-year national service, NYSC and Linda still doesn’t have a job. Her savings during NYSC already thinning out and rent is due soon. Furthermore, her mother was recently laid off, and her parents are in need of some supplemental income. Stress and pressure, then, is building as Linda remains jobless.

Fortunately, she just received a request from a marketing company to send in her resume. However, Linda’s resume is not quite up to the standard that this job expects. She had her internship in marketing before, even excelled in the subject at school, but she doesn’t have the proper list of real-world experience her employers will desire. When pondering the issue, she realizes that she could exaggerate her responsibilities from her internship. Although she was typically filing and making coffee, she could say that she "wrote" a report she had in truth transcribed. When she staffed the front desk, she could claim she was doing “client intake.” And even though she quit after a quarter due to boredom, she could say she worked there for six months.

Linda knows she’s competent and capable of doing the job well; it’s just that her employers might not recognize it based solely on her resume. Since she is buried in debt and her family is in need, is it all right for Nicole to simply alter some facts?

(Article by Jake Teeny)