Is It Worth Exaggerating On Resume?


Stretching the truth in your resume seems to be the simplest way to look as a perfectly fitting candidate with minimal effort. Nevertheless, resume exaggerations rarely lead to the result you expect to get, i.e. successful long-term employment. Searching for a new job month by month with little success can be stressful and daunting experience (if you want to minimize job search stress, learn how to do it here: The candidates who don’t get desired offers or even don’t make it through the interview stages often go to extremes – they start stretching the truth in their resumes. They believe that being truthful won’t get them anywhere in a competitive job market. This is true to some extent; but the consequences won’t always be positive. Let’s consider the pros and cons of exaggerating on resume, and why it’s better to rely on professional resume writing when your resume looks weak. 

Pros of exaggerating on resume 

Your resume immediately stands out

Probably, this is the only advantage of embellishing facts in your resume. By including important credential or certification, embellishing your responsibilities and putting crazy percentages of growth that you have ensured, you’ll most likely get noticed among those who were honest and modest about themselves. Many applicants take the advantage of this practice: 56% of employees have been caught lying on their resumes.  So, if you aim to get hiring manager’s attention, you’ll succeed at it – but only up until the point when you come for an interview or they perform a background check.

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Cons of exaggerating on resume

  1. All the information you put on your resume is easy to check
    You are likely to have heard of the reference check. It means that they key facts of your working history are likely to be checked. In the digital era, checks became even easier – the abundance of social media helps a lot.
    It is the matter of minutes for a human resource manager to call your previous boss to find out if your work record was that stellar, or to contact the organization to find out whether you obtained a specific credential. When the truth reveals, the consequences can be quite unpleasant.
    By the way, when preparing for a job search, make sure you’ve honed your social media profiles and cleaned up everything that can damage your professional image. Here’s how to do it right:
  2. You will have to defend everything you’ve written during the interview
    Let’s assume that your resume fib got your foot to at the door. You’ll have to be very detailed about whatever fact the interviewer wishes to ask. They can wonder about the peculiarities of your achievements, the toughest moments of obtaining your degree or check your knowledge of a foreign language. And if whatever of those is lies, you’ll likely be forced to confess that your resume wasn’t entirely true.
    It is hard to exude confidence and professionalism when you have to make up the story in your head on the go. However, even after you have confessed, it will leave the interviewer wondering how much of a fib does that resume contain. Most likely, they won’t deal with you.
    It is possible to get remembered during the interview without telling fibs. Here’s how to make a good impression on a hiring manager:
  3. If the lies reveal, you’ll likely to lose the job
    If you were lucky enough to make it through to the hiring stage, it doesn’t mean that you can exhale and celebrate. Just the contrary – the lies can reveal at the most unexpected moment. For example, you’ll be asked to rule the project since you have a track record of handling them in your resume. If you’ve never done that before, you simply won’t handle the job. Your boss can cross paths with your previous employer and find out that your professional successes are far-fetched. In either case, most likely you’ll lose that job.
    By the way, you might be interested to learn the key reasons why people leave jobs.
  4. It is a stressful task to maintain a lie
    Just like during the interview, maintaining the lie at the workplace takes a lot of energy. Actually, you’ll have to always pretend to possess the knowledge you don’t have and skills you haven’t practiced. This will impact your mood and well-being, so after a while you won’t be that happy that you won the job.
  5. Revealing the lies leads to termination
    In most cases, when they find out that you lied, you’ll be fired immediately. Nobody wants to have business with someone who is underqualified and dishonest.
  6. Your professional reputation will suffer
    The modern business world values transparency. Trustworthiness is the key quality every employer is looking for regardless of the field and career level.
    Resume lies will lead to missing a job offer or losing the job. However, things are far more serious. If your employer spreads the word, you can lose credibility within your field even if you’re good enough at your job. The label of a liar is the last thing you’ll want to have if you are looking to build a successful career.
  7. You can face charges for fraud
    In some cases (such as falsifying university degree), you can even face criminal charges. These situations are rare; however, be aware that they exist and think twice before stretching the truth in your resume.

As you see, even if your lies in resume take you somewhere, you will only lose in the long run. Employers are looking to build open and trustworthy relationships within the organization, and this is the key principle you should rely upon when creating your resume.

How to attract the hiring manager’s attention without lying in application documents?

  • Get the most out of skills and experience you have. Don’t be modest; rewrite your dull responsibilities using PAR (problem-action-results) approach to show off how the company benefited from your efforts.
  • Constantly develop your skills. No need to mark time – do your best to identify your weak points and develop your hard and soft skills and in a year or two you’ll become a desired employee.
  • Practice stress-reduction techniques during interview. The stress you experience before the important interview can prevent you from making an irresistible impression. Learn how to use stress during the interview to feel more confident and relaxed.
  • Get a referee who already works for the company. Networking can open more doors than the standard application process through the website or a job board. By expanding your professional network, you’ll have the chance to meet someone from your dream company and ask them to put in a word for you.
  • Hire a resume writing professionalto polish your resume. If after a few rewrites your resume still isn’t impressing from the first lines, it’s time to contact resume writers for help. On our website, you can hire a qualified resume writer – learn more about our packages and prices.

Transparency is a key to a successful career

As well as the resume, your cover letter should contain no fibs or exaggerations. Instead, focus on maximizing your real achievements and presenting them in eye-catching format. If you need an example of a good cover letter, use free cover letter builder created by our writer.

Have you ever stretched the truth on a resume? Did it lead to any unpleasant consequences?

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