Can I Lie on My Resume?

by webmaster on June 10, 2013 · 0 comments

If you’re lacking experience in something listed as a requirement in a job posting, then it may be tempting to fib or lie on a job application or resume. If it’s tempting to you, you’re probably not overly concerned with the ethics of lying on a resume and more concerned with whether it’s possible to get away with it. The answer, in some cases, is yes.

First, let’s consider omission. The work experience section on your resume constitutes an advertisement, not an exhaustive list. If you had a job that ended after 3 months due to a firing, or if you quit due to a hostile work environment, then you are in no way obligated to put that experience on your job application. (Note well: leaving a ‘gap’ in your work experience is better than having to discuss a termination or bad job experience.) Or, if your primary duty as an administrative assistant or intern was grabbing your boss coffee, you again are not obligated to mention this–why do so when you can shine a better light on your experience?

Now, let’s consider the reverse. There are some things that you absolutely cannot lie about because they are too easy for employers to verify; these include titles, dates, companies, and education. An employer is mostly limited to verifying these things in a background check; they will have a much more difficult time ascertaining exact duties performed, and they have no way of checking (before speaking with you, that is) that you have a particular set of skills. Therefore, it won’t hurt you, and may very help well you, to exaggerate and inflate your skills and past experiences. (Outright lies may be unwise.) One word of caution: if you claim experience in something or expertise for some skill, then you had better be prepared to demonstrate your expertise if you make it to the interview stage. Especially if the skill in question is vital for a particular role, you can bet that you will be tested on it!

Leave a Comment

Previous post: