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By Khalilah Starks

Desperate times call for desperate measures.  And, the job search process can get pretty desperate, driving many to do things that they normally wouldn’t do.  However, no matter how bleak it may seem, there’s never a good reason to be dishonest during the job search process.

I’ve seen it all too many times, where an applicant makes it to the final stage of the process only to be disqualified for lying during some aspect of the employment process.  What makes it so bad is that many applicants lie about things that have no bearing on whether or not they get the job.

Here are some surefire ways to get canned before you even get the job:

1. Lying About Education Credentials.

It would look really good if you had a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.  That’s what you think.  The only thing is that you still have 12 more credit hours before you actually earn the degree.  So, you think, what’s the harm in that little white lie?  After all, the job doesn’t even require a degree.

Here’s the thing.  Most employers conduct background checks on applicants which include an education verification.  If you lie about your credentials on your resume or application, it will be detected during the background check process.  And, it doesn’t matter whether or not the degree is a requirement.  The fact that you lied will be enough for the employer to discontinue the employment process.

2. Lying about Previous Employment History

Company name, title, salary and dates of employment are standard fields to be completed on an employment application.  You may be tempted to change your title to sound more important or extend the dates of employment to cover up an unemployment gap.  You may also be tempted to inflate your salary since some employers use that as a factor in determining the salary that they’ll offer you.

However, that same background check that I mentioned above also includes an employment verification.  At a minimum, your former employers will typically provide your last position held (title) and dates of employment.  So, if you lie about these, you’ll get caught.  Salary is little different.  Unless you work for a public institution where salaries are published, your potential employer may have some difficulties verifying your salary because many employers have policies against providing salary information on former employees.  However, it’s not uncommon for employers to ask for W2’s in the event that they can’t verify something.  Here’s another area, where if caught, you’ll certainly be disqualified from the employment process.

3. Misrepresenting Your Qualifications on Your Resume and in the Interview

The purpose of the resume is to market the skills that you have – not the ones that you don’t have.  If you lie about your experience on your resume, the employer will pick up on it in the interview.  Then the game is over – you’ve lost credibility and flunked the interview.  Now, let’s say you actually lie your way into the job.  You may initially claim victory.  But, if you really lack the skills necessary to perform the job, you may find yourself unemployed pretty quickly.  Employers have little patience and expect employees to hit the ground running especially in areas where they have claimed proficiency during the recruitment process.

My Two Cents – Lying almost never pays off.  If you’re qualified, you can get the job and salary that you want without being deceitful.  It’s possible to devise a plan to effectively market your skills, communicate your accomplishments and prove your financial value, regardless of your current salary.


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