En Route: A Career Blog

Lying on Your Resume

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
POSTED: August 30, 2011 at 9:41 am

A recent episode of USA’s “Suits” explored what happens when someone lies on a resume and is caught years later.

The individual in question claimed to have graduated from college and attained his CPA (Certified Public Accountant) designation. The truth was, he hadn’t graduated and he wasn’t a CPA. That didn’t mean his work was lacking. In fact, it was stellar.

Didn’t matter. By lying about such critical data, he exposed the firms whose accounts he audited to possible lawsuits.

That episode clearly showed what happens when you play with the truth on your resume. The individual lost his job and it didn’t look like he’d been working anywhere else as an accountant anytime soon.

Is it worth it to fudge even a little on your resume?

No, it’s not. Even if you’re not caught immediately, the lies told will always hang over you like a cloud. Worse, they could expose you to legal action if your position involves critical or sensitive information.

What Are the Chances You’ll Get Away with a Lie?

Today, most employers do background checks to determine if a degree was earned or a certification attained. Once they catch you in a lie, you can forget about ever working for them. If it’s a small, tight-knit industry, you won’t be welcome at any of the other businesses either.

A resume isn’t a lie-detector test. You don’t have to put every bad incident from your past on it to prove veracity. However, you shouldn’t embellish or rely on falsehoods to get the interview or the job.

If you do, someday you may regret it.

Darlene Z.

Darlene Zambruski is a resume writing expert and CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) with more than 13 years of industry experience. She has authored 10,000+ resumes in every industry and at every career level.

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