I can’t tell you how many times we have career coaching clients come to us wondering what is ok to put on their resume and what is not. I find that most people we encounter fall into the category of not of wanting to lie on their resume (a good thing!!) but as a result they end up selling themselves short. They are so worried about telling the truth on their resume that they go to the other extreme, and aren’t fully comfortable selling themselves.

Your resume is a marketing or sales piece and you need to understand that first. It’s not about lying or exaggerating, but it is about promoting yourself and putting your best foot forward in everything you say on there. Include anything that would be relevant to the position you’re applying for, including volunteer work, serving on a board, seminars you’ve attended. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself!

On the flip side, the answer to the question“Do I tell a white lie?” is no. If you’re hesitant to put something on your resume because you’re being modest and you are afraid to promote yourself or “toot your own horn” that’s one thing. You need to get over that. If you’re hesitant to put something on your resume because it feels wrong, like you’re not being honest or you’re exaggerating the truth, draw the line.

The short and long term impact of lying on your resume is obvious and not pretty. I’ve had career coaching clients who didn’t have a college degree who were wildly successful in the corporate world but they could not put they had a degree on their resume. They just had to work around it. You can too.

If you’re interested in more help with your resume or cover letter, contact us here.

Hallie Crawford
Career Search Coach

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