Some people think, “Well, I may have only worked there 10 months, but it will look better on my resume if I say I was there a full year…plus it will show less time between jobs for me. What’s the worst that could happen?”
I’m here to tell you that the worst that could happen is that you could A) Get caught and not get the job, or B) Get the job, be found out later, and then be fired.
Here’s a personal example. Years ago when I was an HR manager, I had to let someone go who was in fact turning out to be a very good worker. She had a troubled work past, so she stretched some important dates on her resume/application. Something just didn’t look right later on, and after a tiny bit of digging, we found out she had lied on her resume. I had no choice but to let her go because she falsified information – and remember, she was PERFORMING.
The point is that being truthful is an absolute necessity within organizations today. If you don’t show complete honesty early on, it often reveals itself later in the job.
Some people mistake that to mean they should just be more careful in tying up loose ends in what they put on their resume. But trust me, honesty is the only way to go. From my many years of HR and Career Coaching experience, these things have a way of being found out. If you don’t believe me, check out this Chicago Tribune article.
The same thing goes for social media sites. Whether it’s your LinkedIn profile information or an online portfolio, keep it honest. If you’re sharing a project that you had a part in but didn’t own, make that clear from the beginning.
I understand that there are things about our professional pasts we don’t always want to share. Maybe you got let go, or possibly you have an awkward amount of “dead time” between jobs on your resume. But I can also tell you from my experience that HR and hiring decision makers understand that. They’ll listen.
There are other ways to truly prove yourself than replacing things you’d rather not talk about with fibs. There’s no doubt you’ll be better off in the long run.