Resumania™: When Not to be Completely Honest on Your Resume

By Robert Half on April 28, 2014 at 7:00am

Honesty is indeed the best policy when it comes to your resume and cover letter. Never stretch the truth because even a tiny white lie could damage your credibility if the prospective employer finds out you fibbed. That being said, there is such a thing as being too honest.

While it’s never OK to provide hiring managers with a false impression of your skills or experience, it is acceptable to leave certain details off your resume. It should go without saying, but it’s unwise to highlight off-topic info that casts you in a negative light. These applicants were far too forthcoming:

COVER LETTER: “I will be attending college this semester only for the extracurricular activities.”

Spoken like a true scholar.

“COMMUNITY WORK: I volunteered at a nursing home because I was required to.”

You volunteered a bit too much.

“SKILLS: Good at data entry, but not much else. While embarrassing, this is the truth: Being a one-trick pony is no fun. It might seem strange that I am telling you this, but I’m hard on myself and honest to a fault.”

Indeed you are.

“EDUCATION: I now have a bachelor’s degree from a major state university. Nowadays, I spend most of my time playing Rock Band on Xbox.”

That hobby won’t drum up much positive attention.

COVER LETTER: “I’m your typical ‘I hate my job’ type of person.”

We hate to tell you, but bad attitudes are never in demand.

“REASON FOR LEAVING: Tired of it.”

Perhaps you should give the negativity a rest.

COVER LETTER: “I’m an account coordinator looking to let loose.”

Not on our watch.

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