Tribune Media Services
January 1, 2013
Did you really manage the overnight nursing staff at that hospital in Cleveland?
If you're applying for a similar position in Chicago, all it takes is one phone call to find out.
"People should pay a bit more heed to what they put on their resume, especially when they exaggerate the truth," says recruiter Carolyn Mavis. "What may have once passed under the radar is now being scrutinized to the finest detail."
Many employers have been burned by people who misrepresented themselves on their resumes, according to Mavis, ultimately resulting in a new background crackdown on a person's most basic facts and figures.
U.S. health care facilities, companies and service providers often hire firms to do background checks on individuals they'd like to hire, and use the resume as the basis for the investigation.
And even if someone receives a formal offer and actually begins working, it's entirely possible that a misrepresentation on a resume can still end someone's relationship with an employer.
"There are thousands of horror stories about people who begin working, then are abruptly escorted from the building once something doesn't check out on their resume," Mavis says. "It's fairly common. And at some point in the future, if you're not living up to expectations, employers may go back to your resume to check out the facts — or to look for a way they can sever their relationship with you based on misrepresentation."
One easy way to avoid the pitfalls of resume dishonesty is to tell the truth.
"No one's ever been chastised for not having enough experience or not having enough education," says Mavis. "If anything, you're simply passed over for the job and told you're not qualified."
Mavis points out that there is a difference between using descriptive language on a resume and telling outright lies.
"People expect these ornate descriptions of what you do," Mavis says. "But they don't want to read lies about what you wanted to do, or what you thought you were qualified to do. There's a big difference."
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