Everyone is guilty of telling little white lies now and then, but one place you should never lie is on your resumé. The lies can almost always be found out and you’re probably not being as sneaky about it as you think.
The consequences for lying on your resumé can range from your boss or co-workers simply losing respect for you or doubting your integrity, to losing that entry-level job, internship or co-op placement you worked so hard to get.
I once got two resumes a couple of days apart from the same candidate — (who was) applying for different jobs. The dates of employment and some of the areas of responsibility were changed in the second resume. And she must have had a promotion in the past 48 hours because the second resume showed a new manager title at her current job!
Specific examples I have witnessed include…stretching a one-day volunteer activity into a semester’s worth of skill building and community involvement, (and) inflating language skills. I have started out interviews speaking in Spanish when the resume claims fluency only to discover that the individual never got beyond the basics and I lost them at “Hola.”
The person in question was a technology professional and a foreign national. Human resources discovered, quite by accident, that the employee had not received his bachelor’s degree from a university, as he had listed on his resume. The truth was, he was 10 credits short of having earned his degree.
When I worked in Japan I reviewed the resume of one of our teachers who was teaching English at the company I worked at. He said that he went to Poole University (in the U.K.). Unfortunately, as I am English, I knew that there might be a Poole Community College but there was not a university. But he was a nice guy and a good teacher so I let it slip by!