by Ann Beahr
How many times have you heard someone say, "Just put it on your resume. There's no way they're going to find out"?
It is tempting to put little white lies on your resume. These might include overstating your knowledge of required software ("If they call me, I'll teach myself over the weekend"), a certification ("They'll never go through all that trouble to find out") or extending dates at a former employer ("They can't find out. The company went out of business").
So what's the big deal? It's not like you're claiming to be a medical doctor, right? Who are you hurting anyway? You're just stretching the truth a little to get your foot in the door -- or so you tell yourself. If these are familiar thoughts, you might want to re-think them. Why? Because the risk of getting caught is real. The odds of getting away with listing false information on your resume are probably, well . . . who really knows? Do you really want to find out the hard way?
There are many reasons that could prompt a human resources manager to conduct an employment background check. Maybe you are not performing your job as well as expected. Maybe a co-worker has the same credential and became suspicious when your facts did not add up during a conversation. Some companies have never experienced a dishonest employee who lied on his/her resume, and does not routinely verify work histories and the validity of credentials. In short, they have a false sense of security. Just the same, many hiring managers are keenly aware that lying on a resume is becoming a costly problem for many companies, and thoroughly check all facts even after they hire a candidate.
Sadly, it is quite common these days to learn of employee terminations because background checks revealed dishonesty. Depending on the level of the position or the severity of the falsification, this could sometimes lead to legal actions. So, before you decide to make yourself look better on paper, think again. It is not worth getting the job if you are not going to be able to live up to it or hold on to it.
The moral of this story? Don't risk your future by lying about your past! Honesty is always the best policy!
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