From small fibs to exaggerated job titles and responsibilities, fibbing and exaggerating on resumes is more common than you might think. In fact, as employers have become more aware of cases of resume padding, they’ve started cracking down on background checks in an effort to weed out the fakers.
There’s no reason to lie or exaggerate on your resume. The slightest inaccuracy can come back to bite you when you become disqualified for a position you already had the skills and experience to win honestly. To make your resume stand out, you simply need to highlight and reposition your current accomplishments. Keep in mind that your resume has two purposes; it’s a sales tool designed to get you an interview, and it’s a road map to guide the interviewer.
As you are recrafting your resume, keep these researched-based tips in mind to build a truthful resume that stands out:
- Use a summary at the top. Without a summary statement, the hiring manager will get their first impression from your most recent job, which might not be what you want. For example, if you’re looking for a job as an accounting manager, the first words on your resume should be “Accounting manager.”
- Be sure your relevant accomplishments are clearly visible. List them as bullets in the summary section at the top of your resume. Leave out the responsibilities that aren’t important for the job to which you’re applying.
- Don’t lie about your degree. If you attended college but didn’t graduate, simply list the years you attended under the name of the school and your area of study. On a well-written resume, employers might overlook the fact that you don’t have a degree.
- Use a descriptive job title. Companies often assign titles that don’t accurately reflect the job duties. You can change your job titles to make sure they reflect the scope of your duties.
- Not every job listed on your resume should have equal prominence. Highlight the jobs you want the hiring manager to notice right away. The position and experience you want to emphasize should stand out on the page.
- You also don’t need to lie about your reason for leaving a job, even if it wasn’t voluntary. HR managers understand that it’s normal in today’s economy to lose a job by no fault of your own.
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