Have you ever stretched the truth on your resume?

Canada
January 24, 2007 4:31pm CST
In the course of my work, I've received quite a few resumes. At times, I have found a person's qualifications to be a bit "too perfect" or almost "too good to be true." I just make notes on these things and take the time to discuss them for further clarification. It's upsetting to listen to someone stammer over their reply. It convinces me that they're not being entirely truthful. Have you ever doctored your resume in the hopes of landing a job? Do you feel it's ok to embellish certain things? Do you expect that people will look into everything that's on your resume or do you feel that it will just be glossed over for a few specific factors?
8 people like this
35 responses
@kgwat70 (13398)
• United States
25 Jan 07
i have always been truthful about my resume and have never put fake information on there for any reason. I know that it could come back and bite me or someone else if they falsified their resume. There is always a way to find out if they are telling the truth or not. I think now a days companies are more careful about who they hire and check things out more carefully. Another thing I know people do is put down people as references even though they did not get the persons permission to put them down. If a person gets hired and later it is found out they lied on their resume or application, they can be fired.
• Canada
25 Jan 07
I agree about the references! I've been listed as a reference and have received phone calls and felt like a total idiot because I had no idea someone would be calling. I also had no time to prepare any information in regards to the applicant so it's certainly not going to be to their benefit if I have to scramble to remember who they are. It's just a professional courtesy to inquire if someone is willing to be a reference. Good tip, kgwat70!
1 person likes this
@kgwat70 (13398)
• United States
29 Jan 07
Thank you for the best response and I agree that is a professional courtesy to ask someone if they would be your reference so they will be prepared for the call when it happens. :-)
@mansha (6301)
• India
25 Jan 07
No I don't think its right to doctor a resume as tyruth will come out soonewr or later, what if you write about somethings that you know about but actually know nothing wont it reflect in the interview. I am doing software programming and people in my batch cheat and get a good score, but only thing is I feel once these kids go for the interview truth will come out. A person with a score of 89% in Java if wont be able to answer a simple prgramming stuff wont the interviewer come to know. I am 35 now so I have very few chance of getting job as I have not worked anywhere before, still I feel if I get a call may be employer will look at my abilities and not my age. A a recruiter what do you weigh more-age or actual ability of the person.
1 person likes this
• Canada
25 Jan 07
In an ideal world, a person's abilities would be all that is considered. I know that there are some jobs (I hesitate to say "many") where there is a prejudice based on a person's age. However, if you are 35, I see no reason why your age would be a problem to an employer. I'm older than you, at 42, and I wouldn't hesitate to apply for a job I wanted for fear that I'd be rejected based on age. If you have solid qualifications, you are a viable candidate.
@mardig (13)
• Spain
25 Jan 07
If all resumes are perfect, then all candidates are qualified for the job. What this society needs is to change the way of hiring people. Sometimes those who dont have the right qualifications could be the gems for the company.
• Canada
25 Jan 07
This is a good point, mardig. My sister is an example of this. There's a position open in our area right now for which she would be perfect. She has years of relevant experience but the employer insists that every candidate must have a university degree, in order to be considered. My sister doesn't have one. But here is the kicker -- they don't want a degree in a specific program of study... just a degree in anything. It's crazy that they would exclude a whole pool of candidates who already have on-the-job experience in favor of someone who attended university. She's still hoping for an interview. If she doesn't get one, it'll be the company's loss, I'm awfully sure.
@34momma (13920)
• United States
25 Jan 07
i will admit that i have fudge the truth a little on my resume. not off the wall fudge, but a little bit fudge. LOL nothing that would make someone say oh please she didn't do that
• Canada
25 Jan 07
I love this, 34momma... "off the wall fudge" LOL!! But I know what you're saying -- just a bit of padding ;) (and now I want fudge... yeesh LOL!)
• United States
25 Jan 07
Everyone, myself included, looks better on paper than in reality. I believe all resumes are stretched but to what degree varies. It is hard to decipher some of hidden meanings on a resume. I have been hiring people for over 15 years and it is getting harder to see people's true self in their resumes. Some are almost fictional.
1 person likes this
• Canada
25 Jan 07
This is so true! People have all the time in the world to craft a "perfect" resume but a very limited time to impress a potential employer in an interview.
@Marie2473 (8523)
• Sweden
25 Jan 07
I haven´t made more out of me in my resume than what I am - however intervues can be nerv-recking and can make people stammer even though they are telling the truth... also they might get nervous over the fact that u make it obvious that u think it is fake... Just my point of wiev
1 person likes this
• Canada
25 Jan 07
Oh yes, Marie, interviews definitely play on people's nerves! There are a few questions that I know I dread being asked in an interview, one of them being "What is your salary expectation?" I don't mind being asked how much money I would expect to make but I find the question is often asked far too early in the interview! I will ask if I can defer my answer until later in the interview because I like to be clear on the job requirements and such before I'm willing to start quoting figures!
@creationhub (3071)
• Malaysia
25 Jan 07
I have known of friends who doctored their resume. I guess they did that for the fear of not getting a job. I asked myself this question many times. I have lost job opportunities just because some others have better resume than mine. Is it worthwhile to doctored my own resume just to get a job? I could not come to do so and have never done so. I am proud of this even though I did missed a few wonderful opportunities. It never really matters. What mattered most is my integrity.
• Canada
25 Jan 07
Ultimately, too, creationhub, doctoring their resume could result in initially getting the job but then not being able to perform up to expectations, if they truly didn't have the necessary experience. You're better off for being truthful, I think :)
@Kaldonya (278)
• United States
25 Jan 07
No, I have never embellished or stretched the truth or lied in any way, shape or form on my resume. To me it's not worth the risk. I would be so nervous during the interview that I would feel like they KNOW that I did, and it's not worth the stress, nor wondering about getting caught. My mom's 1st cousin years ago flat out lied on her resume and got hired by the government. Now, how sad is that?!?
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jan 07
Wow! How long did she keep the job? I've applied to the government and they really did a thorough background check on me. They checked every reference and record that could possibly exist.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jan 07
I actually started a discussion on this, too. I took a resume writing class and was taught how to use better wording, but it is not the same as lying or stretching the truth. I would explain my qualifications further in an interview. I have found that employers are very serious about their qualifications and really want you to have that particular skill. If you get the job and can't do it, it would cause you great trouble with getting other jobs.
@manong05 (5031)
• Philippines
25 Jan 07
No, I don't remember I've ever padded my resume. The only problem I guess was the dates, like when did you finish that, this, history of employment etc etc. I'm not sure I have supplied the exact dates but other than that, nothing have been doctored.
1 person likes this
• Canada
25 Jan 07
Being self-employed, I can very much relate to what you're saying manong05... I often work on multiple contracts simultaneously and the dates overlap. I have to be really careful in the way I put them down in my resume or it might look like there are lapses in my work history... don't need that! LOL
@ChewySpree (1834)
• United States
25 Jan 07
I personally have never exaggerated anything on my resume, but like you, I have come across many that did seem too good to be true. In the interviews, I always asked them for specific behaviors and examples that they eluded to on their resume, and asked them to elaborate about how they handled a specific situation. More often than not, I was right, and it wasn't actually something they had done themselves.
1 person likes this
• Canada
25 Jan 07
It's almost disappointing to have it proven that someone lied, don't you find? I mean, I like to have faith in people but you can only trust so far... especially in an important situation such as engaging a person for a job.
@toonatoons (3740)
• Philippines
25 Jan 07
i always turn in a very simple but factual resume. i don't believe in stretching truths just for the possibility of getting in because in the event i'd be accepted, i wouldn't feel comfortable in the thought that i was hired because of the "stretched truths" i put in my resume. i don't even stretch the truth about my height. lol!
• Canada
25 Jan 07
LOL! Thumbs up for COMPLETE honesty, toonatoons! But I agree with you too... I wouldn't want to think I got a job for something I HAVEN'T done. I'd rather take my chances with the things I HAVE done.
@shywolf (4529)
• United States
24 Jan 07
I haven't yet done it because I haven't yet put together a resume. I do feel that it's wrong to embellish or outright lie - however, I wonder too what I'm going to do when the need arises for me to _have_ a resume, since I have yet to have a real job. I've done lots of work online, but nothing that required me to have a job application or a resume put together. I hope that there is some kind soul out there that will employ me, since I'm a bit older than most people entering the job market, and I'm still not ready since I still have a lot of shyness issues to work on and am just really getting started. So I can see all of this leading me to want to embellish. But I hope that i never do it.
1 person likes this
• Canada
24 Jan 07
I think it's very possible to take some of the things that we do every day and turn them into viable skills on a resume. That way, it's not like we're lying... we might just be looking at something in a different light. Sometimes, it's exactly the way a potential employer would like to see it, too!
• India
31 Jan 07
no i havnt done that yet. i think honesty is the best policy. i dnt know how people manage to handle their intervw questions related to the lies mentioned in their resumes.
1 person likes this
@rlshaw (872)
• United States
29 Jan 07
I think most probably have streched the truth alittle.. I haven't done it by alot but maybe I've added a couple extra years experience to something.. Expecially if I know I can do a job. I would never lie about something that my possibly come back to bit me.. like saying I can run a bulldozer on a job and having no experience.. that would be stupid...lol
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Jan 07
I wouldn't stretch the truth on my resume. That is a bad way to start with a company especially someone you are hoping will hire and trust you to work honestly for them. Nope not for me. I would not feel comfortable doing that and I don't have a poker face so I wouldn't be able to hide the lie.
@listen2me (511)
• United States
25 Jan 07
yes i have. recently, but little things like how long i've worked at a job or on my references, using personal instead of business things like that. and no i dont see it to be wrong if you feel you have the experience to do the job. and yes i do hope they will only glance over it and check fo my experience.
1 person likes this
@dana234 (2126)
• Spain
25 Jan 07
No, I haven´t, because when you get chosen for an interview, either you´ve got to have learnt your resume including the "too perfect" bits by heart or you sit there stammering. The first option won´t get you the job and the second one might, but once working your lack of knowledge will soon show that you´ve touched up your resume. Both things embarrassing.
@nikaka (185)
• Canada
25 Jan 07
left out how my last job ended in tears yes but things have to be done, i am not proud but ...
1 person likes this
@pagli84 (1850)
• Netherlands
25 Jan 07
i havent really stretched the truth, but i guess made the truth seem a bit more shining. i guess i dont really know what my language abilities are. like i can say that im fluent in so and so language, but ive never been tested, so i am just guessing on my language ability. i guess that might be stretching the truth because i dont have a certification telling me what my ability is, but im doing it unknowingly if its not true!
1 person likes this