The Importance of an Accurate Resume

The Importance of an Accurate Resume

by Ronnie Maksymowski, Client Service Manager, Acclivity Healthcare

The proverbial phrase “everybody lies on their resume” was often heard in the pre-digital age. That’s when recruiters’ desks were piled high with printed resumes, and employment histories required countless hours of HR detective work. In those days, it was easy to pull the wool over hiring managers’ eyes.

That was then. This is now.

Todays’ digitized employment and academic records, coupled with advanced background-check software, demand that your resume demonstrate professional transparency and honesty. Woe to this generation’s job seeker who adds false academic or professional points to their resume; you will be found out…and you could be breaking the law.

It might be tempting to “reach up” by adding unearned technical credentials or unfinished graduate degrees to your resume. It’s easy to stretch the dates of prior employment to disguise gaps in work history. You hide an earlier termination for cause by describing it as “seeking greater opportunity in the field.”

The fact is, these tactics are unethical; any one of them could have serious future career consequences.

Many of us have academic or career “glitches” we’d rather not have experienced. But hiding them will destroy a critical element of your potential employment: trust. On the other hand, your resume-if written with candor and honesty-will help build the trust that can help get you hired.

Large gaps in employment history may not be ideal, but don’t disguise or ignore them on your resume. They may be the result of periods of personal development, a return to academia, or a shift in career focus. It’s far better to address such things directly than to risk discovery as a prevaricator.

Ignoring the potential “negatives” of your education or professional history can be seen as a dishonest omission of fact; it’s better to just address problems head-on with an understanding that employers aren’t expecting perfection. They’re looking for talent, enthusiasm, energy, a dedication to their business objectives…and honesty.

Your education, skills, and work history are always important factors behind any hiring decision. But the one thing that will always set you apart from the competition – and what is always apparent in your resume – is your sincerity, honesty, and trustworthiness. The applicant whom we come to know, like and trust is the one we will always hire.

If you do “embellish” your resume, you might as well submit it on scented paper and write it in lipstick, because you will be found out. And once your employer’s suspicions are aroused by your performance failings or by the company’s further research into your employment background, you have destroyed your professional reputation along with chances of promotion or positive future references.

Take the time to examine your resume carefully and honestly. Look for any point that might appear questionable, inflated, unlikely, or unexplained on its face. Those same points will surely be scrutinized by prospective employers and will ultimately get your resume tossed.

The bottom line is obvious: honesty truly counts. Even if you do manage to get hired with a puffed-up resume, accepting an employment offer based upon a false resume is fraudulent, may well be illegal, and will ultimately be a career killer.

It’s just not worth it. Ever.