Telling white lies on your resume?

Monday 26 August, 2013

Everyday, job seekers on our OneShift jobs platform fill in their employment details and upload their resumes. When it comes to job seeking, there's no doubt that it's a competitive environment. This is especially so during the holidays where many university students try to find some casual or part-time work to save a little money. In fact, it's so competitive that sometimes, we add things onto our resume which help make us stand out from the others. Sometimes, these things aren't exactly true.

Examples include job seekers who write 'Two years as a waiter at an Italian restaurant' when really they only worked four shifts over the two years or 'Extensive sales experience' with the only sales experience being at a school fete selling cans of coke.

Have you ever been caught for lying on your resume? Do you think telling white lies on a resume is OK? Let OneShift know!

Whilst this approach may help a job seeker score an interview with a prospective employer, it also puts them (and the business) at risk.

From a business perspective, a resume is a factual document. They make staffing decisions based on the needs of the business and whether a resume matches these needs. For example, if a restaurant advertises for an experienced cook for a busy restaurant and requires a job seeker with qualifications and five years experience, it's usually because the restaurant is very busy and its customers expect a high quality of food and standards. If a job seeker has lied about their experience and qualifications, this may impact on the restaurant '“ just one bad night of service or quality of food can turn loyal, regular customers away forever.

From a job seeker perspective, finding out that you have an interview and then, remembering that little white lie on your resume could cause some stress. What if that's the exact skill they need and I lied about it? What happens if they start ringing my old employers? What happens if they find out?

In short, if a business finds out that you have lied on your resume, even after you have been offered the job, they can withdraw their offer, or fire you.

There are ways to avoid this if you have told a few porkies. Here are your options:

- Correct your resume

- Ask the employer if you can send them your new, corrected resume. Tell them you saw a few errors and wanted to make some adjustments.

- Tell the employer directly that you were extending the truth a little. The area in which you lied about may not have been the reason why they were hiring you in the first place. If it was, they may cancel the interview or job offer.

- Do nothing '“ they may never find out as long as it doesn't impact on the business

- Decline the interview or withdraw your application

- Once you have corrected your resume, explain any gaps you may have in your employment history or skills you may lack in your cover letter. That way you can turn it back into a positive

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