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Talent & Recruitment
Make Sure Your Résumé is Honest
Jan 26, 2010 | John Smi lock

You should always compose your résumé well, making sure that there are no errors or gaps that would raise questions, and highlight the qualifications that present you as the best candidate for the job. In addition to having your professional life presented in the best light, you want to make sure that your résumé and your cover letter showcase your ethics and your sincerity.

This is a difficult task, as it is hard to convey honesty and your good intentions in a form letter and a résumé. But many employers hold a strict no tolerance policy against dishonesty. Thus, you have to take extra care in making sure that all of the information on your résumé is authentic and truthful. Intentional lies on a résumé are not acceptable. However, there are certain areas of your résumé may cause you to unintentionally list incorrect information. Pay attention to the following aspects of your résumé to assure that you don't find yourself appearing untruthful to your potential employer:

List your exact title under professional experience. Many professionals have titles that are company specific and may not make sense outside of the organization where they work. Always list your exact title, but feel free to add a few words that explain what you do in the realm of the industry. This way, when your potential employer calls your employer for a reference check, they will confirm your exact title but also know the scope of your position as it applies outside of that specific organization.

When in doubt, don't guess. For example, if you are unsure when you started or ended a job because it has been a long time since you worked for that company, simply call the company and ask about your employment dates. Do not make assumptions about dates, titles of your references or their contact information, certification dates, etc. Always take time to verify the information you are unsure about before including it on your résumé.

Don't cover up your employment gaps. It is okay to have gaps in your employment; most professionals have gaps in their experience for various reasons. Do not try to hide this from your potential employers. Address the gaps in your work history in your cover letter, and be honest regarding the reasons you were not working during a specific time.

Be honest about your accomplishments. Rather than worrying about the qualifications you may not have, be confident and highlight your work experience and achievement in a truthful manner. Do not exaggerate skills, professional roles, or stretch the employment dates. Work on presenting yourself and your qualifications in the best possible light; take the time to quantify your accomplishments, and compose a positive professional summary for your résumé.

Revise your résumé until you feel comfortable that all the information included is truthful and will not raise any questions by the employer that you have not addressed in the résumé or the cover letter. The rule is - be honest on your résumé. Don't break that rule.

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