Resumania™: Don’t Try Lying on a Resume

By Robert Half December 23, 2013 at 8:00am

Let’s be clear, lying on a resume is bad. Very bad. You never want to misrepresent your skills or experience when applying for a new position. It’s easier than ever for hiring managers to uncovering the true information. And once they do, your chances of landing the job will disappear.

On the opposite end of the spectrum from lying on a resume is being too honest. And that can be equally problematic. Some job candidates will admit their faults or concerns previous employers had about their performance. Save sensitive subjects — why you were let go from a former position, for example — for the job interview, when you can provide more background and nuance.

These job seekers from the “Resumania™” archives weren’t caught lying on a resume; they revealed too much:

COVER LETTER: “My motto: Work ethic is defined by what you can do when the boss isn’t looking.”

Our motto: Never hire a sneaky employee.

“REASON FOR LEAVING: Got married, which will never happen again.”

Either a very good or a very bad story.

COVER LETTER: “My background is clean, except for getting a ticket a few years ago for going through a stop sign. Actually, I didn’t go through the sign, but you can’t argue with the police.”

Duly noted.

“EMPLOYMENT HISTORY: My long period of unemployment had to do with a variety of unexpected, time-consuming events, an IRS audit of my finances, in particular.”

Not the leading candidate for the opening in accounting.

“WHAT I DO: Write and write, type and type, mix in a little daydreaming.” 

Exactly how much daydreaming is mixed in?

COVER LETTER: “When I go to college, I will learn about and study a field I want to be a part of. This might help me quit my bad habit of slacking.”

A “relaxation studies” major.

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