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Truth or Consequences Print
Written by Abby Kohut   

Peter Brady wanted to go on a camping trip more than anything else in the world. He had all of his gear packed, and couldn't wait to experience the calm of the great outdoors with all of his friends. And then it happened…he broke mom's favorite vase while he was playing ball in the house. Those of you who are devout Brady Bunch fans know the moral of this story…although Peter lied and claimed innocence, he eventually confessed and paid the consequences. Lying during your job search process can have disastrous consequences.

Your resume is a written version of you; that is, it is a document explaining who you are and who you have been in the past. Although it is not necessarily a legal document, it becomes a piece of your personnel file once you are hired. When you fill out a job application, which IS a legal document, recruiters will compare the two to ensure that they match exactly. Some companies also compare both documents to your information on LinkedIn.

Companies take lying seriously. Even if it is a much smaller fib such as an inflated salary or incorrect months of employment, it may still hamper your chances for success. Like Peter, some people get caught lying at the eleventh hour…either right before they receive an offer, right before their start date, or worse yet, after they start. In some cases, companies have discovered these little lies years later and due to corporate policy made the decision to terminate the employees who lied. It just isn't a good business decision to lie on your resume or application.

A fellow recruiter shared a great example with me about a person who was obviously not a Brady Bunch fan. She was conducting a job search for an Executive Assistant to a CFO. One day, the perfect candidate (on paper) walked into her office. Let's call her Alice. Alice had wonderful experiences as an Executive Assistant in top firms reporting to C-level associates. She had a college degree, leadership experiences, and was a computer guru. Her references were spot on and she was hired immediately.

Several weeks on the job, Alice became comfortable with her teammates and started to talk to them about her past. She confided in the wrong person and told them that she had fabricated her entire resume. The references that the recruiter spoke to were actually her friends pretending to be former managers. Alice was asked to leave the company despite the phenomenal work she was producing for the CFO.

Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
While comparing Peter Brady's vase incident to the real world many seem farfetched, the moral here is 100% true. Lying about breaking your mom's favorite vase or on your resume never results in a positive outcome. Honor your career and learn to explain the hiccups along the way with the help of a true professional. If Peter Brady decided to tell the truth, so can you.
 
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Drawn from my 18 years of experience and research in recruiting and Human Resources, my blog posts are intended to provide insight into what corporate recruiters and Human Resource professionals look for when they are evaluating your qualifications. Simply reading these blogs will not guarantee you success. However, consistently applying the strategies mentioned, as well as developing your own personal interview style, will greatly enhance your chances of victory amidst the competition. I wish you the best of luck with your search as you begin to take charge of your career!