Never, ever lie on your resume or your official job application. It can and will come back to haunt you and when it does it will likely cost you the job.
With background checks, employment and education verification and broad social networks, everything is verifiable these days and verification is a standard part of most hiring processes. Your resume and job application should be “squeaky clean.” When in doubt, be conservative and disclose anything that could possibly be perceived as an issue. Integrity is a precious commodity and if you lose it with an employer by being less than forthright you can’t regain it.
We recently had an incident where the applicant had been convicted of a motor vehicle violation several years ago. He had been lead to believe it would not appear on his record. He received and verbally accepted a job offer at an outstanding company pending a background check. He completed his application and indicated that he had never been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony. Low and behold, the background check showed a conviction for a motor vehicle misdemeanor. The offer was withdrawn. The hiring managers assured me that had the applicant disclosed it on the application it would have been no big deal but because it was “concealed” it became an issue of integrity. If there is any doubt about what might appear on your background check, pay the nominal fee to run a report for yourself so you can fully disclose any issues in advance. When in doubt, disclose. Be completely transparent through the job search process. Of course, an applicant would not disclose this in the first conversation. Wait until they want you for the job and then be completely upfront and honest.
There have been high profile cases in recent years where someone misrepresented their education or employment on the resume and when it came to light, the person was terminated. It no longer mattered how well they were doing that job. The fact that they lied to get it was grounds for termination.
Assume the every employer you are dealing with in the job search process will verify education and employment data, that they will conduct a background check and that they will use their own personal network to check in with people who may know you from previous employers. Be honest throughout the process to achieve the best results.
Read more of Lynne’s thoughts in “11 Resume Myths Busted: Realities Busted“!