Should you lie on your resume?

My wife says a half-truth is a whole lie. She’s a great mom and raised her kids with that moral code. But as adults, we know the world isn’t always black and white and we tell  certain little white lies. For example, “does this make me look fat?” is not a question that should always be answered with 100% candor. Or we may choose to omit embarrassing or incriminating details in our retelling of events after-the-fact. All pretty harmless. But what about lying on a resume?

Skeletons-in-closet
Skeletons in your career closet?

Your resume is the most financially important document of your life so you may be tempted to lie to cover up what you think are a few skeletons in your career closet. People lie about all sorts of things – a degree they never quite earned, an inflated job title they’ve never actually held, why they left a former employer – the list could go on. While deception may seem like quick fix, it always comes with consequences.

We live in a digital age where just about anything can be verified, and background checks are pretty routine. Most indefensible lies will cost you the job offer. If you luck out and happen to find a company that doesn’t do background checks, you may land the job, but be prepared to live your lies for the tenure of your time with that company. You will be expected to deliver the candidate your resume sold.

Be authentic, but get professional help

It’s challenging for most people to talk about themselves, but particularly for those who have insecurities about their backgrounds. That’s where a professional resume writing service can help.

Most professional resume writing services will craft a resume that focuses on your strengths as they are related to the responsibilities and deliverables of a specific target job. The resume will focus on employers think about, prioritize, and describe this job’s deliverables: those things you are expected to deliver as you execute your assigned responsibilities

The best professional resume writers are very thorough and collect detailed information from you, drawing you out with just the right questions. The objectivity of a professional can help determine the right focus for your situation, and showcase your authentic story in the best light possible.

Even if you are able to do the job, lying on a resume or application can be grounds for dismissal at any point that it is discovered. It could still cost you your job, plus a bad reference for lying can follow you for years. You have right to show yourself in the best possible light in your resume, just so long as the story you tell is entirely defensible; but don’t lie, it will invariably come back to haunt you.

If you don’t like your truth, start changing it today

We all make mistakes and do things we sometimes regret, what’s important are our actions in response. Take responsibility for where you stand today in your professional life and you can begin changing your all your tomorrows. That you discover you have been living life with a faulty script doesn’t mean you have to continue living that same story.

Change is a constant in the new world of work and everyone has to learn to live with change and adapt to the needs of a constantly shifting professional landscape. Maybe it’s time to get serious about guiding the trajectory of your professional life, and stop letting life be something that happens to you and instead take an approach that gives you greater control of your destiny.

You begin this new journey by looking at yourself in a different light. You are, in reality, a financial entity that must always act in the interests of its economic survival, just like a corporation. So why not start thinking of yourself as MeInc. a corporation that has products and services to sell: those ever-evolving skill-bundles that define the “professional you.” And just like any corporation, you need to constantly develop, brand and sell these services to your targeted customer base: employers who hire people like you. The success of MeInc depends on:

The five foundations for your professional success

•  Research and Development: Every corporation invests in the ongoing identification and development of products and services that will appeal to its customers. For MeInc. this translates into skill-building in response to market trends, which you do by connecting to your profession and by monitoring the changing market demands for your job on an ongoing basis.
•  Marketing and Public Relations: The effective branding of MeInc. as a desirable product requires establishing credibility for the services you deliver and positioning those services so that your professional credibility becomes visible to an ever-widening circle, both within a company—to encourage professional growth—and within your profession—to encourage your employability elsewhere.
•  Sales: MeInc. needs a state-of-the-art sales program to constantly develop new strategies to sell your products and services. This will include resume, job search, interviewing, negotiation, and other career management skills that must be developed to sell your products and services effectively.
•  Strategic Planning: This encourages you to create concrete plans to achieve the goals you have for your future: plans for growth with your current employer, plans to time strategic career moves that take you to new employers or new professions. Creating actionable strategies for the realities of your professional future enables you to make your plans happen on your timetable and not as a panicked reaction to unforeseen employment disruptions.
•  Finance: Treating personal finance more seriously will ensure you invest wisely in initiatives that will deliver a return on investment. You must invest in your future success rather than fritter away your income on the instant gratification drummed into your head by 24/7 media.

You may have made mistakes, but recognizing those mistakes for what they are is the first step to moving past them to a life and a sense of self of whom you are justifiably proud. You cannot change the past, but the future is in your hands; it will be whatever you choose to make of it.

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Knock Em Dead

Knock Em Dead

NY Times Bestselling Author at Knock Em Dead
With 17 books and two optical patents to his name and as someone who last danced with a professional ballet company at age 55, he is clearly one of those who has turned ADHD into a superpower. Martin is also a recovering alcoholic of some years standing, and exchanging one obsessive compulsion for another; he particularly enjoys collecting prohibition-era cocktail shakers.
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