As the job search drags on, the temptation to “adjust” the facts on a resume grows stronger. We’ve all been there. Somewhere between the fourth and fifth month on the job market, “two years of experience” becomes three, and “managed a team of six employees” gets edited to eight employees, and then ten. Sometimes, in egregious cases, a Bachelor’s degree becomes a Master’s, and a stint as a “junior associate” gets edited to “associate”, and then “senior associate”. After all, who’s likely to investigate this? Who’s even reading all these resumes we’re sending out? For all we know, they’re falling into a black hole and our little fibs aren’t even being read, much less investigated.
If you feel this temptation taking hold, put yourself in the position of the hiring manager reviewing your resume. If she’s looking for someone who knows how to complete a complex project involving specific deliverables, are you helping her with her search? Or are you making her search, and possibly your own life, far more difficult? Before you stretch the truth on any element of your resume, ask yourself these questions.