June 25, 2018

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'The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But…'

Most of us have embellished a story or two in our lifetime. The size of that fish we caught, the length of the putt we made, the amount of money that we earn….you get the picture. And in these situations, as long as no harm was done, no one got hurt, and no laws were broken, it was probably o.k. This is not to condone outright lying in day-to-day life, but to simply acknowledge that stretching the truth is something that most of us do, with few consequences.

But your resume is definitely not the place to embellish or stretch the truth. This is one place where telling the whole truth is by far the best action. Perhaps you’ve heard stories about folks who have fabricated a college degree, “enhanced” their job responsibilities or titles, or inflated their salaries. They did so in hopes of impressing prospective employers, and to be hired in higher level positions with greater salaries. Some of these candidates got away with it.

Others, however, got caught. Some during the interview process, and others after being hired. They had not factored in the network that hiring managers and HR directors have for checking resume accuracy, validity of references, and overall character of applicants. Yes, the days of full disclosure by former employers are gone, but many employers are still willing to answer some of the questions posed by hiring companies. After all, the favor will often be returned.

But reasons for telling the truth go far beyond the risk of getting caught. If you “tell it like it is” throughout your job search, you never have to remember any embellishments, you never have to fear that someone will “out” you, and, most importantly, you can feel good about yourself throughout the entire process. And feeling good about yourself can boost your self confidence and enhance (honestly) your chances of success in those interviews. And that is reason enough to tell the truth.

Bettie Biehn, formerly a senior HR professional and nonprofit manager, is founder/president of Career Change Central, LLC, a premier resume writing and career coaching business. Bettie is also a freelance writer, and her magazine articles addressing key HR and training issues, were published for 3 years in NAC Magazine, an award-winning trade journal. Bettie’s coordinates are:

Bettie Biehn, CPRW - President/Owner - Career Change Central LLC Website named to's "The Top 75 Websites For Your Career"

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