Job Search Tip of the Week – 08/20/2015


You know that your résumé is usually the first impression you make on a potential employer, so you have to make it great. But what lengths are you willing to go to do so?

According to the annual survey about résumés from employment website CareerBuilder, more than half of hiring managers and HR professionals (56%) have caught a lie on a résumé, with most job seekers fibbing about:

  • Skill sets: 62%
  • Responsibilities: 54%
  • Employment dates: 39%
  • Job titles: 31%
  • Academic degrees: 28%

And among the other résumé blunders that employers have seen, some are so outlandish that they had to be shared:

  • Applicant claimed to be a former CEO of the company to which they were applying.
  • Applicant claimed to be fluent in two languages – one of which was pig Latin.
  • Applicant wrote “whorehouse” instead of “warehouse” when listing work history.
  • Applicant’s personal website linked to a porn site.
  • Applicant introduced himself [in the cover letter] by saying “Hey you.”
  • Applicant vying for a customer service position gave “didn’t like dealing with angry customers” as the reason for leaving her last job.
  • User name of applicant’s email address was “2poopy4mypants.”
  • Applicant claimed to be a Nobel Prize winner.
  • Applicant claimed to have worked in a jail when they were really in there serving time.
  • Applicant who claimed to be HVAC certified later asked the hiring manager what “HVAC” meant.
  • Applicant said to have gotten fired “on accident.”
  • Applicant claimed to have attended a college that didn’t exist.
  • Applicant for a driver position claimed to have 10 years of experience but had only had a driver’s license for four years.
  • Applicant listed as a reference an employer from whom they had embezzled money and had an arrest warrant out for the applicant.
  • Applicant’s stated job history had him in three different companies and three different cities simultaneously.

Unforgettable, but unemployable.

The truth about lying on your résumé

“Perhaps it is the desire to stand out that compels some job seekers to include some unnecessary, inappropriate, or downright untrue information on their resumes,” CareerBuilder speculated in the survey press release. “Job seekers may also be beefing up their resumes to compensate for not meeting all of the requirements listed in the job posting.”

And yet, the term “requirements” in job descriptions has become somewhat of a misnomer: 42% of the employers surveyed reported that they would consider a candidate who met only 60% of a job’s “must haves.” Instead of embellishing your qualifications to fit those of the ideal candidate – which can backfire – highlight accomplishments that demonstrate “an ability to learn, enthusiasm, and cultural fit,” suggested CareerBuilder’s chief human resources officer Rosemary Haefner.

Other ways you can stand out honestly? Hiring managers and recruiters reported that a résumé:

  • Customized to the open position (61%)
  • Accompanied with a cover letter (49%)
  • Addressed to them by name (26%)
  • Which includes links to an online portfolio, blog, or website (21%)

…grabs their attention in a good way.

Be memorable – and hireable

You want to take advantage of every second an employer has their eyeballs on your résumé, especially since the majority (70%) take less than five minutes to review an application, with nearly half (48%) spending less than two minutes.

Put the focus on what counts with these top five résumé writing and revising tips:

  1. Format your résumé properly. Click here to see how it’s done right!
  2. Choose a readable font. These are the best ones to use on your résumé!
  3. Talk specific, quantifiable accomplishments, not day-to-day responsibilities. These words and phrases will help you do just that!
  4. Think beyond the one (maybe two) page résumé. A cover letter, video résumé, and even your social media profiles can help supplement your application and sell your candidacy – if done correctly!
  5. Review, review, review for typographical and grammatical errors. These are the top five non-content mistakes seen on technical résumés!

Need additional help getting your résumé noticed? Hack into the brain of a trusted IT recruiter like those at Chase Technology Consultants (CTC)! CTC knows what technical hiring managers look for and can introduce you directly to potential employers.

Sound Off: Would you ever overexaggerate or outright lie on your résumé if you knew you wouldn’t get caught?

Blogging forward,

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Image Credit: Action Potential