With unemployment levels in the United States at their highest levels in more than a quarter of a century the job market is more competitive than ever. There seems to be countless numbers of college graduates and laid-off experienced professionals competing for a limited number of jobs that grow ever smaller with increases in corporate bankruptcies and foreclosures. Each individual who is in need of a job or hoping to change careers must have a resume that lists the prospective employee’s objectives, qualifications,skills, previous employment experiences, education/certifications, and club/civic memberships.
These resumes provide the interview of an overview of the applicant’s background, education, and abilities. These pieces of paper can mean the difference between landing a great job and being removed from consideration, or for termination shortly thereafter if inconsistencies or unverifiable information surfaces. Therefore, writing a resume is one of the most important tasks a job seeker tackles. All resumes should included criteria that are accurate and honest. Both of these attributes reflect the thoroughness and integrity of the applicant.
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Talent development company WJM Associates’ Chief Executive Officer Bill Morinstates that during the hiring process, the listing of correct or indirect dates can help determine whether the resume is accurate (Durett 9). The validity of various association memberships and the status of such memberships are also a strong indicator of accuracy (Durett 9). A resume’s collegiate or university records information can also reveal how honest or dishonest the job seeker is.
If there are discrepancies involving the dates an individual attended a particular learning institution or if the listed degree was actually received, this suggests the individual is misrepresenting his or her background. A single misrepresentation can be enough to eliminate an individual from job contention (Lee 6). However, there is admittedly a fine line between promoting one’s abilities and embellishing them to the point of distortion (Lee 6).
If there are some “borderline decisions” that must be made regarding assessment of skills, experience, or education, recruiters recommend erring on the side of caution (Lee 6). For example, if an individual is working toward earning a degree or certification in a certain area, express as much in the resume; do not list the degree or certification as having been received (Lee 6). One call to a college or trade school can easily uncover this frequent deception. An online business that specializes in writing resumes, ResumeDoctor. om, discovered that out of 1,000 vetted resumes over a six-month period, 43 percent of them included what it described as “significant inaccuracies” (Cullen 53). An employer background checking organization, InfoCheckUSA, states that resume inaccuracies are unfortunately all-too-common (Connelly). Of the resumes it scans, about 10 percent contain education information that has been falsified, usually pertaining to listing degrees that have not been obtained (Connelly).
Another background checking company, InfoLink Screening Services, provides some other disturbing double-digit statistics in this regard. This company alleges that 14 percent of all American job applicants lie about their education or level of education on their resumes (Cullen 53). Furthermore, approximately 30 percent of employment dates are determined to be incorrect (Connelly). Many human resource professionals believe that more can be learned from a potential employee by the resume presentedthan on the actual job interview.
The resume discloses more about a job seeker than where college degrees were obtained or what positions this person may have held previously. It is virtually a sworn statement of the applicant’s background, qualifications, experiences, and skill levels that provide considerable insights into the individual’s character. An accurate and truthful resume depicts a person who pays attention to detail and is someone who can be trusted. Inaccuracies and distortions suggest a dishonest applicant who is essentially trying to sell a potential employer a faulty piece of human merchandise.
Writing a resume is perhaps the most important component in the job-seeking process, which is why accuracy and honesty are of paramount importance. Lying on a resume can lead to immediate termination and adversely affect future employment thereafter. In the final analysis, a resume is more reflective of the job seeker than of objectives, background, education, and experiences it describes. WORKS CITED “Chef Robert Irvine, Peppered in Controversy. ” The Washington Post. 2008. HighBeam Research. 31 Mar. 2009 http://www. highbeam. com. Connelly, Eileen A.
J. “The Right resume is Best Weapon in Hunt for New Career. ” The Virginian Pilot. 2008. HighBeam Research. 31 Mar. 2009 http://www. highbeam. com. Cox, Hill. “Great Literary Works. ” Quality 45. 10 (2006): 20. Cullen, Lisa Takeuchi. “Getting Wise to Lies. ” Time South Pacific 17 (2006): 53. Durett, Jacqueline. “Redoing Your Resume? Leave Off the Lies. ” Training 43. 12 (2006): 9. “Great Exaggerations. ” Sports Illustrated 95. 25 (2001): 32. Lee, Katherine Spencer. “Writing an Effective – and Honest – Resume. ” Certification Magazine 10. 11 (2008): 6.