Looking for a new job sucks. It’s exhausting and can be demoralizing. Have you ever found yourself reading a job description, and getting excited because it sounds like a perfect fit for you? But, of course, you see a required program or degree you don’t have, and that’s the end of that. Writing resumes and cover letters to qualify for specific positions, takes a lot of time and effort! Looking for a new job can be a full-time job itself. Your life is now consumed with internet searches, recruiters, networking, and hopefully, interviewing.
Maybe after months of trying to get a job, and not getting any bites, you decide it’s time to get creative with your resume. Embellish it, if you will. Stop right there! For the love of God, do not lie on any resumes or applications, because it will come back to bite you in the ass. You know it will. Even though it might be tempting, resist the urge to add that one program to your resume, or increase the number of years of experience you have doing something. They require a master’s degree and you only have a bachelor’s degree? Don’t lie about it! They can check these things ya know?
Negotiating salaries can be tricky. You’d love to make more money than you are now, or were previously, and sh**—can they really put a monetary value on you? In your mind, you’re worth millions! But, when a prospective employer asks about your current or past salary, give it to them straight. Maybe the position you’re trying to get offers $20k more than you currently make, and you don’t want to appear to be a little fish trying to jump into a big pond, so you claim that you are currently in that same range. We wouldn’t recommend this. One call to your references will reveal the truth (unless you told your references to lie as well, in which case, you are a terrible human being).
Finally, we’ve all done some crazy stuff in our time, but damn you got busted. That felony for breaking and entering, happened 20 years ago! You’re a different person now. You don’t want that juvenile mistake to reflect poorly on the awesome guy you are today. It sucks having to own up to your stupidity on job applications, but you must include it. Background checks are thorough, and if it comes out that you lied, then maybe you aren’t as awesome as you thought. Because, here’s the deal, having a felony isn’t an automatic deal-breaker, but lying about it is.
Be proud of the skills and experience that you actually possess. If you are lacking a required skill or degree, talk to your future employer, and let them know you’d be willing to pursue or learn whatever you need to once you get the job. Put an effort into your new career, not your fake resume!