Perhaps BS-ing about your B.A. or blowing smoke about your last promotion is the career strategy of the week. But is embellishing your academic or employment history really required in today’s work world? Or it is a recipe for landing your application in the “delete” folder? And just how much C.V. puffery can a person get away with?
In a 2008 CareerBuilder.com survey, 8 percent of 8,785 U.S. workers polled said they had fudged some aspect of their resume. Of the 3,169 U.S. employers polled in the same survey, 49 percent said they’d discovered an applicant stretching the truth on their resume.
Unfortunately, the “Everyone does it!” argument doesn’t hold water: 57 percent of employers who found a candidate fibbing on their resume told CareerBuilder they couldn’t drop the applicant fast enough.
“Lying on a resume or in an interview is the kiss of death,” Keene said. “Why would I present someone like that to a client who is counting on me to present the very best talent for the perfect fit?”
Sure, career advisors and interview coaches harp on the necessity of looking good on paper. But there’s a difference between smart marketing and revisionist history.
“It is never OK to misrepresent yourself,” said Cathleen Faerber, managing director of The Wellesley Group, Inc., an executive search firm in Buffalo Grove, Ill. “If you have a gap in employment, show the gap. If you didn’t complete your course requirements, so you attended, but don’t claim a degree.”