Over half of job applicants are untruthful at some point during the hiring process. While it may seem innocent or insignificant at the time, such dishonesty can be very damaging to an organization’s health and the employee’s professional reputation.
According to Inc., the most common resume fibs hover around these areas:
- Work experience
- Dates of employment
- Job titles in a previous role
- College education
- Previous responsibilities
- Internship experience
Many may say to themselves, “A little exaggeration can’t hurt anything. Everyone does it.” Well, neither of those rationales is true.
Competing in the Jungle
It’s true that the job hunt can be a competitive and intimidating landscape. Despite this, dishonesty should be avoided for the following reasons:
The Interview Won’t Be Natural
If you as a candidate are concerned with navigating around inconsistencies on your resume or fighting to justify your experience and qualifications during an interview, you are likely not putting your best foot forward. An interview should be natural and comfortable— that is, if it’s an interview for a fitting position.
Instead of being untruthful, do your best to be sincere, genuine, and of course, polite. If you don’t walk away with the job due to your honesty, it wasn’t the job for you anyway.
Your Information Is Verifiable
When it comes to any of the common areas of dishonesty listed above, background screening can easily identify inconsistencies. If you are lying about your previous job duties, titles, education, experience, etc., a simple employment or education verification can provide employers with the right story.
Many organizations have implemented background screening into their hiring process. If they come to find you have lied, that may be the grounds for adverse action, not what you considered to be an inadequacy.
Future Employment Opportunities Could Be Impacted
If a previous employer becomes aware that you have been untruthful about the capacities in which you were involved with their organization, they may be less inclined to give you a star-studded review the next time a prospective employer comes calling.
Moreover, though you might not be the right fit for a certain position at a certain time, you have a place in another department with the organization down the road. Being caught lying on your job application can effectively shut the door to other opportunities you may have otherwise been able to seize.
Dishonesty Can Set You up to Fail
Let’s say your dishonesty gets you the job you want thanks to the inflation of both your abilities and your experience. Now, you have to face a job you are not entirely qualified for, leading to stress and opening the organization up to risk. While some may be able to adapt and learn, the possibility of costly mistakes always lingers as well as the likelihood of the truth coming to light.
Low Job Satisfaction
At the end of the day, the stress of stepping up to a plate that you may be ill-equipped to bat at is not a pleasant reality day after day. The odds are, if you get into a job by being dishonest, you probably won’t enjoy it.
There are a number of reasons why honesty truly does go far when seeking employment. If you are insecure about your qualifications, highlight some of the qualities that you feel can make up for certain inadequacies. If you have the ability and eagerness to learn quickly, highlight that characteristic. If you are good with people and relationships, explain how that could help you in the role you are seeking. But don’t lie about your qualifications as it will likely lead to a headache for both you and your employer.
The bottom line is, that if you have to be dishonest in order to make the cut for a job, it’s likely not a good fit.
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