November 22, 2022
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They Don’t Love the Way You Lie: Rule #1 of Resume Writing

Are you exaggerating the truth or lying while writing your resume? Learn why it's important to be honest & maintain the integrity & ethics of resume writing.

In this day and age, a resume can easily be forged, manipulated, and falsified. 

And there is a minimal chance that you can get away with it.

A study by CareerBuilder shows that 75% of employers have caught a lie on a resume.

So instead of going through an embarrassing confrontation, wouldn’t it be better to avoid lying and consider the integrity of your resume while writing it?

It is crucial to understand the implications of ethics and integrity in order to properly integrate them into your company's culture. 

Ethics and integrity are fundamental to developing a strong reputation, which can lead to a better bottom line and help in building trust with the customers. 

Similarly, an organisation will have integrity and ethics if only the employees are ingrained with these traits.

So, what is integrity?

When we have integrity, it means that we always do what is right, even when no one is watching or there is no benefit to us personally. 

It also means that we do not lie or mislead others. 

It means that if we make a mistake, we own up to it and take responsibility for it instead of trying to blame someone else.  

We know that this makes us more than just a business; it makes us part of something bigger—something called society.

A resume is a document of your professional history, which can be a valuable tool for getting a job. 

It is your first impression in front of recruiters.

And many candidates don’t hesitate to make a small fib here and there.

But there is nothing worse than a person claiming to be someone they are not. 

And people deserve to be treated with respect throughout their professional lives but a small lie in your resume can make a dent in your credibility.

Why emphasise integrity while writing your resume?

Whether you are fresher or experienced, a new manager or a seasoned leader, you must have customised your resume whenever you find the perfect job opportunity. 

Tell me, honestly, how much you have "dressed up" your resume to make yourself seem like the ideal candidate without going too far in the direction of lying.

Several startling statistics:

👉 It is estimated that around 40% of candidates lie on their resumes.

👉 Additionally, they use illogical arguments to defend it.

👉 Employees who are detected by (reputable) businesses frequently lose their employment.

As long as you're here, you're unlikely to succumb to outright deception. 

What are your thoughts on the following:

🔶 As you were handling the majority of the responsibilities of that position, you could add an impressive job title.

🔶 As you carried the majority of the weight, you could add the team's contribution as your own.

🔶 Inflating the team size managed or the range of functions handled because you had a lot of power over others.

These are referred to as rationalisations—creating an explanation for a choice that you believe to be inherently faulty. 

You intentionally muddy up right and wrong by coming up with flimsy but pleasing justifications for your actions while writing your resume

You fabricate a story that appears to be true but does not hold up under scrutiny.

Rationalisations are dangerous because they cause you to delude yourself.

Here are some pointers to maintain clarity of thoughts:

✅ What impression would you have after seeing this resume if you were the recruiting manager?

✅ Would your former reporting manager have listed your achievements in the same way as added in your resume?

Well, you could argue that ‘my resume does not pass this test, but there is something genuine beneath my claims, and I do not want to fall behind my competition’. 

When in doubt, consult your previous manager. 

Although asking the prior manager may be challenging, there are several advantages. 

It forces you to think logically and creatively because it is challenging. 

Additionally, it confirms the truth of your assertions, and occasionally he may suggest more effective ways for you to portray yourself while building your resume

Sometimes it can also assist your former manager in organising his ideas about how to represent you during reference checks.

It's no secret that the job market has never been better. 

But with every golden opportunity comes a new wave of scammers.

These people have no shame in their game, but they know how to fool employers. 

With so many people out there trying to land a job, and so few jobs to go around, employers are forced to invest their time in the wrong candidates and pass over those who are qualified. 

Even though the ATS software can remove unqualified applications, but at the end of the day, they lack human intelligence.

It can only shortlist resumes matching the job requirements, candidates who have exaggerated their skills or put down wrong information will still pass the test. 

This is where the integrity of the resume writing process comes into play.

As mentioned earlier, it is not easy to get away with lying on your resume and can have serious long-term consequences on your career.

Hence, it's best to steer clear of mentioning information that you cannot back up with evidence.

Wrapping it up

In order to have a successful career, you need to have a great resume. 

In order to have a great resume, you have to look good on paper without lying and exaggerating.

A thorough resume review will bring out all the errors and improvements that is to be done.

This is where you could use some help, especially from a mentor. 👥

You can reach out to a mentor to understand how to highlight your skills while writing your resume without bending the truth.

You can talk to them about experience and ethics.

A mentor will not only review your resume but can also help you understand the hiring process from a recruiter's perspective. 🙌

So, what are you waiting for?