Maintaining your integrity: priceless

maintaining your integrity is pricelessSetting: Panel discussion presentation

Audience: Young (25 to 40) professional organization

Topic: Finding a job in a tough market

Question posed to the panel: What’s your view on “revising” a job title to fit a job posting, meaning it’s OK to call yourself a director on a resume because you did what you believed to be director level work but didn’t hold that actual job title.

To this former HR VP, trading integrity and credibility for an interview is a fool’s journey. While the temptation to stretch the facts (whether just a wee bit or a whole bunch) may be attractive when jobs are hard to come by and you’re feeling desperate, getting creative with the specifics of one’s work experience is a no-no.

Plain and simple, don’t do it.

  • Steer clear of the lure of jazzing up your resume in an untruthful way to make your background more attractive.
  • Be thorough in defining and quantifying your contributions.
  • Stick to the facts.
  • Don’t manufacture titles and/or experience.
  • Avoid creating awkward situations in which you are asked to explain the delta between the data you provided and what the record shows to be factual.

According to Hire Right, a firm that specializes in employee back ground checks: 80% of all resumes are misleading, 20% state fraudulent degrees, 30% show altered employment dates, 40% have inflated salary claims, 30% have inaccurate job descriptions, and 27% give falsified references. Show you may have lots of company in “reframing” your work history, but is that the kind of company you want to keep?  Is that the reputation you want to have?

Where’s the harm in going with the flow to get ahead, one might ask. Losing your integrity is the harm. Your values are your rock, your compass, against which you measure what is important to you in life.

And, that’s how other people determine whether to trust you…or not.