Some interviews are unforgettable, although not always for nice reasons.
An example is the time I was co-interviewing with a hiring manager for a finance position. We were listening to a friendly, well presented and experienced candidate who was confidently explaining his work history. We were all smiling and nodding in agreement.
Then I noticed something odd in his resume; the duties of a previous role didn’t seem to match the title.
I asked the fateful question “Was that really your title?” The candidate stopped smiling, looked down and mumbled, “Well, um, um”.
It was obvious, he had inflated the title of a previous role on his resume.
The rest of the interview went through the motions, for due process, however the inevitable was understood; trust had been broken and it couldn’t be repaired.
It might be tempting to fudge a date here, inflate a title there, embellish a little. I implore you to resist. Your resume MUST BE ACCURATE.
A fudge, inflation or embellishment might get you into the interview room, but you will be walking out in embarrassment, like the finance candidate did, if it’s noticed.
There are hundreds of resume writers on the web promising job riches by beautifying your resume. Agency recruiters might offer to ‘fix up’ your CV when they add their logo. Check it twice, sparkle isn’t cute.
I’ve read well-meaning articles for job seekers with advice such as:
“Unconventional resumes stand out” (wrong; stick with the conventions);
“Pump your resume with steroids” (don’t do drugs!);
“Add graphical punch to win the job” (don’t add graphics to your resume; that’s what LinkedIn is for); and
“A splash of colour to invite interest” (looks weird, invites rejection).
The best person to write your resume is YOU. Tailor it for each position but keep it factual. Have it checked by a capable proof-reader or reliable career coach.
People will hire you when they believe you’re the lowest risk and best choice option. You’ll be hired because you’re considered likeable and trustworthy.
In the words of philosopher Augustine “The truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself.”
Stand proud as a lion with your accurate resume, defend your truths.
About the Author
I’m an executive search consultant, recruiter, career coach, author, speaker and philanthropist.