When you have been job hunting for a while without much success, you might be tempted to give your resume an overhaul.
A good many people do this as a matter, of course, to keep up to date. A good number of people take the opportunity to fill in the gaps they have in their work experience, or to expand their capabilities.
Not only is lying on your CV unethical, but there is also a good chance that you will get caught out. This could be in a background check, or you get asked questions in the interview that you are unable to answer.
This is not to say you should not sell your skills; you should make sure you do not oversell what you are capable of, or think that an employer will look at these gaps in your CV as a negative.
Getting your facts straight
If you do think it is worth the risk (it is not) and you decide on expanding on the truth a little. You have to know what you have put on your job resume. It takes more than just a good memory to remember what you have written, especially if dates are questioned.
An interviewer might ask you to quantify any goals you have met, sales targets you have hit or anything good you brought to one of your previous employers. Making your answer sound convincing is a near impossible task.
It is essential to have all your facts straight, and if you have any doubt of your truthful information, you should double check before you send off your CV to any potential employers.
There is nothing wrong with having gaps in your CV, as long as you thoroughly explain why. Many people have valid reasons why there are spaces, and being unable to find a job is nothing to be ashamed of.
If you have spaces in your CV, it is far easier to explain why rather than try and fill in the gaps with something that you might think the employer is searching for.
Employers look for these red flags as an immediate way of cutting the wheat from the chaff, so if something does not seem right at that stage, you will find yourself on the pile that will end up in the bin.
Work on Your Strengths
Either on your CV or your job application cover letter, you should work on your strengths even if these are not associated with the position you are applying for.
Now is the time to catch the employers attention and mention or highlight any further education that is job-related or not, and volunteer or community work you may have done.
Show Your Professionalism
This is one of the primary keys an employer looks for in an employee. They want people who are good at what they do. However, you might think that you do not have the full skills that match the job you are applying for. What you might have is something a potential employer sees as an asset. If you have gained any awards or accomplishments, this is the time to show them.
Stand Out From the Crowd
Regardless of being truthful on your CV, you also have to make it stand out. For many positions, the hiring managers will quickly skim through the CV’s they have been presented with. After a while, they begin to all look the same.
Any critical information that you believe is an asset, or is one of your strengths, you should list first or make sure that it is presented in a way that will grab the manager’s attention.
Many applicants can be honest with their information, yet they have not got the dates or job duties correct from years ago. This during an interview could be questioned, and you may find you are hesitant and stumble in your answer.
It is not that you have been dishonest, it means you have merely forgotten. All the facts you have, you should be clear about. So do your homework first, and make sure you are up to speed on what you are saying.
Many applicants fall for the same mistake. They think it is worth the risk to expand on the truth, or oversell their capabilities. What they assume is that many employers do not check all the information that is on your CV or in your cover letter. This will definitely become a problem when you get the job because you were this “shining star” so to speak, and then when put in the new position, cannot perform.
If you get past the first stage, this is when they will look a little closer at what is written. When it comes down to it, justify yourself, be honest, and don’t just end up as another resume in the rubbish bin.