Article Lying on your resume would be wrong, but there is nothing wrong with padding your resume a little. 1 2022 Life coaching https://www.lifecoachhub.com/img/uploads/articles/thumbs/49_1674813139.jpg Career coaching life coaching Lifecoachhub Pty Ltd LifeCoachHub

How to Pad Your Resume WITHOUT Lying

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TAGS: coaching, life coaching, business coaching, coach, life coach, self help, personal development resume writing, business, getting a job

Updated Dec 20,2022

It is very tempting to “pad” your résumé by lying or stretching the truth to make yourself seem more appealing. DON’T do it! You will most likely be found out, and lead to problems down the road.

With the current state of the economy, there are a lot of folks who are out of work and looking for jobs. There are also many who have found that they are underemployed and need something more. At the same time, there are young people graduating from college and entering the workforce. Others have jobs and are unhappy and simply want a change.

It is a very competitive job market. You want to put your best foot forward and make the best impression possible to improve your chances. One of the first things a potential employer sees is your resume or CV, so you want to make that resume stand out as much as possible.

It is very tempting to “pad” your résumé by lying or stretching the truth to make yourself seem more appealing. DON’T do it! You will most likely be found out, and it could be very embarrassing and lead to problems down the road.

Even if you have never had a job before, you have plenty of experience and great accomplishments that make you appealing to employers and give you a competitive edge over these other candidates. This is simply a handy guide to help you remember what those are.

Be so good they can't ignore you. Steve Martin Coaching Quote

LIST YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Perfect attendance, receiving 100% positive feedback, perfect shopper scores, and being asked to train people are all accomplishments that a potential employer would like to know about.

When learning how to write your first resume, you are usually taught to list your most important responsibilities for each employer. You should do this, but you should also list your accomplishments first.

Even if you feel like you didn’t accomplish anything beyond what was required of you in your role, you did indeed accomplish something.  Perfect attendance, receiving 100% positive feedback, perfect shopper scores, and being asked to train people are all accomplishments that a potential employer would like to know about.  If you won an award, implemented a new system, created a training program, or were asked to speak at a convention, mention those things first.

sample resume

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VOLUNTEERING IS EXPERIENCE TOO

If you don’t have a lot of employment experience, start volunteering now. Wherever you live, there surely are organizations that need your help.

Even if you don’t volunteer regularly, almost everyone has volunteered at some time, so remember to include that, even if it is just a line in a section for “other experience.” Make a list of things you have done, even if they were one-time things. Running a bake sale doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it illustrates your leadership ability and organizational skills along with how responsible you are.

Include ongoing volunteer engagements in the same manner as you would a job. If you have had several of these, think about making this a dedicated section in your resume.  Make sure you list your accomplishments and responsibilities just as you would with any other role.

If you don’t have a lot of employment experience, start volunteering now. Wherever you live, there surely are organizations that need your help. There are also legitimate online volunteering experiences as well that can help prepare you for future employment.

EDUCATION IS A SMART BET

Showcase your skills and hard work so be sure to list the following: majors, degrees earned, special courses completed, honors, accomplishments, extracurricular activities, awards, or anything else of note.

List any training you have had, including additional training or development classes you have participated in. The one-day sales class you took last fall or the computer workshop your last employer made compulsory is just the ticket.  This shows that you have a commitment to development and growth, features that are usually very attractive to a potential employee.

Be sure to mention your formal education.  If you hold a university degree, you don’t need to dig back to high school, but list all institutions of higher learning you attended. If your highest level of education achieved was high school or a GED, be sure to list that as well. 

This is a quick way to showcase your skills and hard work so be sure to list the following for all institutions listed: majors, degrees earned, special courses completed, honors, accomplishments, extracurricular activities, awards, or anything else of note.

If you can dream it, you can do it. Tom Fitzgerald Coaching Quote

It is also never too late to go back to school. There are plenty of opportunities for personal enrichment and career development for folks of any age and any education level. E-learning is a great way for busy working adults to get the education that allows them to take their career to the next level or change fields, and there are also more traditional universities and community colleges that offer flexible courses (online or in person) to fit any schedule.

You could also take a course or workshop to hone a skill or learn something new. There are paid and free courses available online. There are also a host of private courses and public classes hosted at community centers, libraries, and lots of other places. For almost every skill you want to develop, someone is teaching it.

resume format

ADAPT A RESUME FORMAT THAT WORKS

Capture the hiring manager using a resume format that works best for you.

Imagine this, you want the job so much but feel it’s impossible to get it either because you often change jobs or you haven’t been on the job market for a while. Well, this calls for a resume revamp!

Capture the hiring manager using a resume format that works best for you. There are several ways to craft your resume. But let’s focus on the top three proven and popular formats: chronological, functional, and combination (Indeed, 2022).

  • Chronological. Presents your work experience from your most recent role down to the oldest. This traditional format still works for applicants who demonstrate consistent progress in their career path.
  • Functional. Emphasizes your relevant skills based on the qualifications of a job. Applicants who worked in various fields or those with long employment gaps can thrive with a functional resume.
  • Combination. Allows more flexibility in highlighting your years of experience or specialized skills. It all depends on what is more valuable to the position you’re applying for. It's best to use a combination if you’re shifting careers and have built a specialized skill set on your new path.    

Tips to make you CV attractive

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You should never lie on your resume; if your new boss ever finds out about it, you will almost definitely lose your job. You can pad your resume with things you have already done but maybe forgot about, to make yourself an appealing, competitive candidate. There are plenty of other ways you can boost your résumé and make it stronger while staying completely honest, but these are simple ways to give yourself a greater edge when job seeking.

Remember you don’t have to list everything you’ve ever done and every responsibility you have had in every role, but make sure to hit the highlights. If your resume ends up a little long, don’t sweat it. In the internet age, longer resumes are much more acceptable, and with the great experience and fantastic accomplishments found within, your soon-to-be boss will be happy to read them.

If you need more help landing that job, contact a career coach

You can also check out our collection of job articles and interviewing tips below.

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Interview Do’s and Don’ts with sample questions and answers

Interview question tips for the food service industry

INTERVIEW FASHION

What to wear to ace your interview

What to wear to a bartending interview

MORE TIPS

Avoid these 10 job search mistakes

How to stay sane while job hunting 

FAQ

1. How can I polish my resume?

You can enhance your resume and land a job without stretching the truth. Visualize how to make yourself stand out against hundreds or thousands of applicants. 

  1. Be descriptive and creative in presenting your accomplishments and experiences. Use keywords that highlight why you’re a good fit for the company. Strategically place them on your resume to stand out. 
  2. Ditch the career objective and reference sections. Having these parts makes your resume outdated (but in earlier times, this was a trend). 
  3. Get specific by using quantifiable results. Did you handle a team or spearheaded a university school paper? If so, emphasize your leadership skills by using numbers. Showcase your achievements by showing results.
  4. Explore what type of resume works best for you. There’s no hard and fast rule to showcasing your experience, achievements, and education. The key is to adapt a resume that suits you. Is it functional, chronological, or a combination?
  5. Keep it neat, factual, and free from error. Check if what you’ve written truly represents you. Also, mind your grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Above your credentials, your future employer places huge attention on these “small” errors.

2. What should you never do on a resume?

Keeping your resume clean and on-point allows recruiters to scan it easily, boosting your chances of getting called for an interview. Consider your resume as a sales pitch, so craft it in a way that’s easy to browse but still appealing.

Here are the 11 things you should never put on your resume.

  1. False experiences, education, and the like
  2. Too personal information such as religion, political inclination
  3. Your age
  4. Large blocks of text
  5. Mistakes in spelling and grammar
  6. Descriptions of experiences and achievements in the passive voice 
  7. Criticisms on your previous or current job
  8. Too much focus on hobbies and interests
  9. Unreadable font/texts
  10. Any extra information that doesn’t add value to your application

3. Can you get fired for lying on your resume? 

The quick answer is yes. But more than getting fired, there’s a moral issue involved when you lie on your resume. When you get the job and it turns out that the experience you showcased is untrue, your employer’s trust is broken. 

Trust is what makes and breaks a relationship. Ending your contract is just the icing on the cake since you no longer appear as someone reliable. 

Photo Credit : sergio m. mahugo

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COMMENTS

  • Amy Alacty
    April 12, 2013

    Thanks for this Julie. My son is in his final semester at university and is applying for internships and entry-level positions. I'll forward your suggestions to him as I'm sure he will find this info very useful in his job hunt. I've told him time and time again that lying on his resume will get him nowhere because at the end of the day, the truth will always come out and it will bite you hard!

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