Building a new resume? Whether your job search is on Main Street, Capitol Hill, some far-off metropolis, or right here in Jackson, every aspiring candidate wants to find that edge that separates him or her from the crowd.
But while there are plenty of ways to make an interviewer sit up and say “whoa,” one thing that you never want to do to get your foot in the door is have false information on your resume. A little white lie or an accidental slipup that makes you look more qualified for your dream gig can, and will, come back to bite you in the backside. This (seemingly small) mistake could end up costing you your job and maybe even your career.
Just ask George O’Leary, who was forced to resign as Notre Dame football coach after just five days on the job when he was found to have invented a master’s degree for himself and lied about the extent of his playing career. Or maybe Adam Wheeler, who crafted an elaborate fiction to fake his way into Harvard, was caught, and then served jail time for including the university on his resume and violating his probation.
Now, while most inaccuracies are not as blatant as O’Leary’s or Wheeler’s, bad info on your resume, even honest-to-God mistakes, will cost you when found out. Here are a couple of handy tips to help you avoid slipups:
This one’s a no-brainer, really, but it’s still incredibly important. While a resume is great chance to show off and promote yourself, you better have the skills to back up your talk. Calling yourself an expert in a field where you’re not completely fluent can backfire if you’re later interviewed by someone who knows what he or she is talking about. Saying you’re a QuickBooks guru won’t end well if you can just barely balance your checkbook.
The best way to prove your qualifications is by actually showing them to prospective employers. Certified accountant? Registered nurse? Plenty of professional qualifications bestow physical documents upon recipients. Offering potential employers copies of your transcripts and certifications not only shows that your achievements are genuine, they mark you out as a proactive, prepared job seeker.
Be Thorough, and Check Yourself
Having worked to make your resume as accurate as it can be, be sure to go back and tie up loose ends. Double-check dates and job titles (especially if it’s a legally or professionally defined position) so you aren’t in conflict with your references. Calling up and talking to former employers is a good way to make sure any information that an old boss might give won’t raise doubts about what your resume says. Finally, investigate yourself vigorously, as though you were the interviewer trying to catch potential inaccuracies.
Still not sure if your resume is up to snuff? Our recruiters are experts in reviewing resumes, career advancements and goals, and of course—finding you a great job! Contact us today!