White lies in your Resume – are they worth it?

White lies in your Resume – are they worth it?

Are white lies ever worth it when securing a job?  A recent landmark case in Australia has resulted in a 25 month jail term with a minimum 12 month non-parole period for a woman who was proven to have lied on her Resume and falsified references.

Veronica Hilda Therialt was convicted in December 2019 of deception and dishonestly dealing with documents, abuse of public office and had her position terminated.  Therialt provided false and misleading information about work experience, qualifications and impersonated a referee, providing a ‘glowing’ recommendation in order to secure a lucrative $270,000 position with the Australian Government.

While this is an extreme case of fraud, many people have at one time been tempted to embellish their Resume in order to appear more qualified, experienced or successful.  Research shows that a third of candidates exaggerate their academic qualifications when applying for jobs.  However, the implications of deceit can be huge.  In severe cases, it can lead to legal charges.  In other situations, it can hurt your career or involve an embarrassing situation in your workplace.

Resumes are documents that condense your professional career into a few hundred words.  On average, recruiters spend less than six seconds reading a resume before making a decision regarding a candidate.  Resumes should showcase your qualifications, professional experience and achievements in a succinct way.  It can be tempting to inflate your achievements in order to present yourself in the best possible way.  However, white lies can lead to big issues down the track.

Common white lies that should be avoided on Resume’s include:

  • Changing your Job Title
  • Overstating achievements
  • Listing unfinished degrees or diplomas
  • Modifying your role in a team function (indicating that you lead a project, for example)
  • Changing your employment dates

Speaking with recruiters, we have confirmed instances where background checks have revealed criminal charges and misleading information contained on candidate Resumes.  This has meant that the candidates involved have not only been disqualified from the recruitment process, the recruitment Agency will also no longer ever represent them.

The best method of writing a punchy Resume might be to conduct a review of your existing Resume and determine how to communicate your skills and experience in the best way.  If you are lacking adequate work experience, you could try writing a functional-based Resume which highlights your skills rather than a chronological list of roles you have worked in.

Would you like support regarding writing your Resume?  Why not download our guide on how to write a winning Resume.