It’s a given these days that the job market is insanely competitive. And more experience, more credentials, and more unique skills are often required to get a decent job. With the increased pressure to find employment, especially for Millennials, it’s a small wonder that some may choose to artificially inflate – or even lie – on their resumes.
The higher amount of pressure on younger candidates seems to potentially indicate a higher rate of lying on their resume– Millennials have a harder time breaking into the job market. Particularly for highly skilled work, and some resort to lying on their resumes. But it’s absolutely not worth it to lie in your resume. And here are five of the best reasons you should not do it.
1. They Will Find Out
Whether your prospective employer discovers your embellishments when they contact your references. Or – worse – they discover on the job that you do not have the skills you advertised, you’ll be in trouble. In the best case scenario, you won’t be hired for that position. Or worst case, you’ll be fired on the spot and maybe even blacklisted from that company permanently.
Instead of lying on resume, write down every job you’ve ever had, and write a skills inventory for each before building your resume. If you’ve only done something once, you shouldn’t put it on your resume.
But include skills that you are at least functional in, ranging up to skills you are highly proficient in. You will find that you know more than you think you do.
2. They May Tell Others
Some industries are highly communicative, and if your interviewer discovers you have lied on your resume, they may tell other potential employers. If your dishonesty was particularly egregious, they may even go out of their way to inform other contacts in their industry about the incident.
In addition to doing the job and skills inventory mentioned previously, network in your industry as much as possible. Go to networking events, mixers, Meetups – anything that helps your name and face get in front of potential employers. If you present yourself as a desirable candidate, you will generate a good reputation before you ever walk into a job. You may find yourself with more offers, giving you more leverage to negotiate higher salaries, benefits, and better work hours.
3. You Will Have to Keep Lying on Resume
As the saying goes, lies are perpetually pregnant – with more lies. One lie will almost inevitably lead to you having to tell more lies, either to get hired or to keep a job you already have. Eventually, your interviewer or employer will catch you – and we’re right back to the consequences of reason #1.
Instead, focus on becoming a person who is willing to acquire new skills on the job or prior to hire. Develop skills related to the field you want to work in – for example, if you want to work in fashion, develop marketing and community management skills.
Saying “I don’t know how to do that yet, but I am learning how or I am eager and willing to learn” is much better than saying “I can do this” when you can’t.
4. You Will Become Frustrated
Misrepresenting your skills and lying your resume may get you a job, but you will quickly become frustrated with your work if your skills do not match the tasks you are given, even if you’re not caught in your lies. Being unhappy at work can be disastrous for the individual, and for the company they’re working for – unhappy workers do not produce, and they take their unhappiness home with them, which can damage relationships, psychological and physical health, and cause a host of other problems.
Instead, focus on finding work that takes good advantage of the things you are best at – or consider freelancing if you are having trouble finding a traditional job that makes good use of your skills.
5. It Will Impact Your Career – Long-term
Having to explain to a future employer that you lost a job because you lied on your resume will make it extremely difficult to find a new position. While some may give you the benefit of the doubt and give you a fresh start, most people are not that generous, and it may result in long-term unemployment or, at worst, total sabotage of the career you really wanted.
Be honest with yourself and with your employers about what you are capable of. Honesty, along with willingness to expand your skills and professional horizons, will result in a sterling reputation among your co-workers and managers – and will lead to future professional opportunities.
P.S. It may be worth looking at your resume format and make sure you have a professional resume. We offer all our readers two free resume templates for download. They are professional resume templates in word format.