Theres No Need to Pad Your Resume
It seems like a good idea, harmless in fact. Your friends assure you that everybody does it and that employers rarely check resume facts. Going on blind faith and convinced the truth hasn't been helpful so far, you seriously consider fabricating information on your resume. You adapt the school of thought that a little white lie never hurt anyone and lying on a resume is just that, a little white lie.
Cheating on a resume can be tempting, especially when one has been searching for a job for months or even years. However, we all know that fibbing is never a good idea, and the likelihood that you'll be caught is extremely high. Even if your "creativity" slips through the cracks, karma has a way of catching up with you. So either way, lying gets messy.
That said, many job seekers have major hiccups in their professional life-employment gaps, lack of education and/or experience-and it is becoming increasingly difficult for most to write their own resumes without exaggerating or flat-out lying. Since resume fraud is on the rise, employers are taking much more care in verifying information, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to mislead them. The good news, however, is that lying isn't necessary if the resume is well-written and strategically organized.
The education and experience sections of a resume are the ones most job seekers are fixed on fabricating. They are under the impression that if they lack the educational requirements or the experience described in the job description they won't be considered a serious candidate. That, however, is a myth.
Education doesn't top an employer's list
Many people incorrectly believe hiring decisions are made based on the candidate's education, and they feel compelled to stretch the truth in order to compete with their degreed counterparts. The reality is that education, though important, isn't the driving force behind hiring decisions unless, of course, your profession requires a degree (e.g. doctors, lawyers, CPAs, etc.).
When a candidate lacks a college degree but has a solid work history, education quickly falls down the ladder of necessary requirements. Let's take a look at this point from an employer's perspective.
The situation: The job description reads, "Seeking an accounts payable specialist with comprehensive experience in processing expense reports, reconciling vendor accounts, and performing bank reconciliations. Successful candidate holds an associate's degree in accounting."
Candidate #1: Jose has worked in accounts payable for the last five years. During his career, he has set up new policies, cross-referenced purchase orders with invoices, and interacted with vendors to resolve invoice discrepancies. His experience comes from the school of hard knocks and he doesn't have a college education.
Candidate #2: Maria recently received a bachelor's degree in accounting. While earning her degree she worked as a front desk clerk for a Fortune 500 company where she was in charge of filing and answering a multi-line phone system.
Who would you rather hire, Jose or Maria? Chances are that you named Jose as the clear winner because his experience supercedes Maria's education. Jose will be able to jump into the position with little or no training because he has hands-on knowledge of best accounting practices. Maria, on the other hand, is green. The hiring organization would have to spend time, money, and resources to train her, which they most likely won't have an interest in doing.
Show 'em what you've got
Employers spend most of their time scrutinizing the experience section of the resume, and unfortunately, the homespun resume rarely tells the whole story. Most resume do-it-yourselfers fear their accomplishments won't fare well against the competition and they decide to embellish facts in an effort to attract an employer's attention.
Again, fabricating information isn't necessary. Most likely the experience you have garnered throughout your work history is impressive. The challenge, however, is expressing your accomplishments in a way that entices the hiring organization to give you a call.
When dealing with hiring organizations you have to connect all the dots. For each position that you are applying for, there is an average of 500 applicants so you have to make it very easy for the reader to distinguish between you and every other qualified candidate. The only way to achieve that is by writing strong resume copy.
As a job seeker you are intimately involved in your own search, so much so that it is hard to take a step back and write a resume that is marketable. You are probably your own worst critic. If you have attempted to write your own resume you know how difficult it is to write about yourself objectively.
To make the resume-writing process easier, answer the following questions:
The point here is to start thinking about your career as a portrait of who you are professionally, and not just as a job. When you make that mind shift, it will be easier to put words to paper. Lying isn't a necessary evil. The trick to obtaining the job you desire is making the most of what you have to offer.
About The Author
Recognized as a career expert, Linda Matias brings a wealth of experience to the career services field. She has been sought out for her knowledge of the employment market, outplacement, job search strategies, interview preparation, and resume writing, quoted a number of times in The Wall Street Journal, New York Newsday, Newsweek, and HR-esource.com. She is President of CareerStrides and the National Resume Writers' Association. Visit her website at www.careerstrides.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Secrets to Interview Success
Many well qualified and extremely able candidates fail at job interviews simply because they are unaware of the conventions of the job interview and the expectations of the interviewer.
Beat the Crowd with Winning Resume Cover Letters
Far too many people underestimate the importance of resume cover letters. In a sense, a well written cover letter works like an agent on your behalf. It tosses a sales pitch for you to the employer, explaining why you should be at the top of the list for interview calls. Taking the time to write a cover letter tells the employer you are willing to go above and beyond; not just simply slap a resume in an envelope and mail it.
Ask the Recruiter
We all have career goals, big or small. Here are some questions I have recieved over the last month from those actively seeking new employment.
Free Resume Template: Beware!
Downloading a free resume template can be so alluring. No work to do! You just download it, fill in the blanks, and get the job of your dreams!
For Effective Decisions, Look Beyond Career Stereotypes
You've probably been taught not to stereotype people based on race, religion or sex. But when you make a career or business decision, do you still make decisions based on stereotypes?
Settling Successfully Into Your New Job
The euphoria of getting a new job can sometimes be overcome by apprehension about what comes next. After all, you're "the new kid on the block," and there's much to learn--about your new job duties and much more. But here are some things you can do to make the process go smoother.
5 Simple Rules for A Great Job Interview
Many years ago, when I was a young job-searching greenhorn, I ventured to New York City to take a bite out of the big apple of opportunity.
3 Secrets to Landing a Home-Based Position
Landing a telecommute position isn't easy. Finding them in the first place is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Then, when you finally do find one that looks promising, it's filled before you can even click on "apply for this job".
Is Your Job Search Guided by the Controller or the Controllee?
I'll define what I mean by these terms. "The Controller" is a job seeker that is ruled by doing everything right. He/she has read all of the appropriate books, done a good job composing a resume, but is still unemployed.
What Makes Americans Hate Their Jobs? This Advice Turns That Epidemic Around
Here are the sobering facts: studies show that almost 70% of all employees dislike or downright hate their jobs. These dissatisfied, disillusioned people have no further career goals. Dreading the workday is a common heartache in millions of homes. Our job-hating crisis leads to lower productivity, adversely affects our economy, and -- worst of all -- causes strain on personal relationships.
Six Sure-Fire Ways to Get Yourself a Pay Rise
Many employees do not care too much for their bosses or supervisors. It is an all too common trait. Most feel as though the boss knows nothing, has a superiority complex, is arrogant, is unapproachable, expects too much and pays too little. Are you nodding your head?
Simple Interviewing That Works
Powerful questions to get below the surface
How To Conduct A Successful Job Search Campaign
1.Define your objective: Know what kind of work you most enjoy and perform the best. This requires self-evaluation, spending time looking at your interests and abilities.
Career Discovery - Pinpoint Your Ideal Career
Determine your ideal career--one that's in alignment with your values, passions, and talents--and discover the work you were born to do
The Changing Values Landscape of the U.S. and How It Impacts Midlife Job Searchers, Part Two
The values landscape of our nation is changing, and with it your personal values landscape is changing as well. What does this mean and what does it have to do with midlife?
Everyday Is Saturday: Help for the Suddenly Unemployed
I recently was "unhired" by my former employer. Unhired is a softer term than "fired" but it means the same. With no warning and an immediate departure, I found myself at home enjoying the provisions of a severance package but curious about the next steps.
Make The Right Career Move
It is not realistic for HR Managers to believe that there will not be any staff turnover in the organisation. Having regular staff turnover need not be a negative proposition as it may imply that the industry is very dynamic. There are also other varied reasons for this: The organisation may undergo a restructuring exercise or its headquarters may be relocated to a different country. With new talents to improve the competitiveness of the organisation, it is dependent on each employee to take full control of his career progression.
Bartending School Online- Earn Your Bartender Training From Home
Many young adults flock to bars, lounges and clubs on a weekly basis. They spend hundreds sometimes thousands of dollars on entertaining themselves and their friends. When the night's over and the lights go up, everyone starts to trickle out the front door a little more broke than they were when they entered. Everyone that is, except the bartenders who get to walk out a little richer than they were when they came in. Bartending as a career can be lucrative and extremely fun. Better yet the occupation fits well with many young adults lifestyles and allows them the freedom that regular nine to five jobs don't.
Wake Up and Learn Something New
The US Government has just released last month's job creation figures. It was the lowest number in two years. This is a revealing and disturbing snapshot of what is actually happening in the real economy, not the one artificially created for the headlines. Our US GNP or Gross National Product, is based upon manufactured durable goods. Unfortunately, the manufacturing economy in the US has not yet recovered from the devastating collapse it saw commence in the spring of 2000. The recent improvements in jobs and growth are substantially confined to the service sector. Manufacturing is what drives the US economy and it is suffering.
How To Deal With A Difficult Boss
Most people at some point in their lives have to deal with a difficult boss. Difficult supervisors vary in personality from being a little pushy or rude, all the way to being downright abusive. Many people feel that an abusive boss has control of their personal life outside of work by lowering their self-esteem and making them live in constant fear. The role of a supervisor sometimes attracts certain controlling-type personalities because they crave the power it gives them and because they lack such control in their own personal lives. A supervisor has complete control over your most basic human needs-your ability to put food on the table and a roof over your head. These are powerful motivating factors that allow a difficult supervisor to control people out of fear of losing these basic needs. We may not be able to always correct their behavior, but we should never have to live in fear and let our difficult boss control our lives.
Recent Job Posts
|home | site map|