Lying on your resumé is seriously bad news!

Have you ever altered the truth, fibbed or blatantly lied on your resumé?  It’s been done before and it is the worst thing you can do when applying for a job.   I consistently provide clients with one concrete piece of advice.  Under no circumstances, do you provide false or misleading information on your resumé.  Lying on your resumé, fabricating documents and making up referee statements is a huge mistake.  Why? Because if you were employed from an inaccurate and untruthful resumé guess what, it could lead to a potential conviction or even gaol time!

A real life example:

Three years ago a former senior public service official lied on her curriculum vitae (CV) to secure her lucrative South Australian Government position.  She was sentenced in gaol for at least 12 months.  Veronica Hilda Theriault, 45, was the Chief Information Officer with the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC). In September 2017 she was charged with deception, dishonestly dealing with documents and abuse of public office.  Judge Boylan stated that Ms Theriault also gave the DPC false references as part of the job application.  She has arranged for her brother to supply a reference to the department stating he worked with her at Wotif.  That reference contained false information as neither Ms Theriault nor her brother ever worked at Wotif. 

To make this situation more damaging, Ms Theriault then pretended to be a “Ms Best”, whom she had named as a referee on her CV and spoke to recruiters as part of the application.  Ms Theriault impersonated “Ms Best” and over the phone gave glowing feedback about her own performance.  The real Ms Best had never even consented to provide a reference.  However the presiding Judge considered Ms Theriault’s mental health struggles including her bipolar condition before handing down her sentance.

This was indeed an extreme case and it sets a benchmark for applicants who land a job based on a lie.  In considering the above evidence, I have listed below key resumé tips to avoid lying on a resumé:

Things not to include on a resumé: 

– Over-extending your years of service.  If you have three years of experience and a job advertisement ask for a minimum of five years, then don’t lie.

– Making up formal qualifications.  For instance, if a job requires a mandatory Bachelor of Science, and you have a Diploma in Business, don’t apply for the job and don’t pretend you have a degree.  Recruiters can easily check this information.

– Placing false referee names on your resumé.  Approach your referees and ask their permission to include their name and contact phone number on your resumé.

– Claiming you have worked for a notable organisation, when in fact you haven’t.  Because all experience must be true, you should explain your role, key duties and achievements accurately.

– Stating you have a certain skill set that is required for the job.  For instance, if a job requires specific Sales skills such as Data Analysis, CRM, E-Commerce, Communications or Marketing, and you do not have the demonstrated knowledge, then do not list these skills. 

Words that should be banned from a resumé

– Aggressive/Insistent

– Beautiful/Adorable

– Hilarious/Funny

– Invincible/Supreme

– Perfectionist/Obsessive

– Trendy/Cool

– Weird/Wacky

– Wonderful/Amazing

– Worked in a male-dominated / female-dominated industry, for example, referencing any political/religious/sexual preferences, affiliations or identifying your age.

In conclusion, a resumé must market your abilities, personality, experience, qualifications and most importantly your major achievements.  Remember that lying on your resumé is bad news and gets you nowhere!  If you need assistance with revamping or writing a new resumé, contact Julie for more information.