Let’s Agree Not To Lie Shall We?

Perhaps you or someone you know is guilty of putting some things on their resume which are not true with clear knowledge of that fact. Such as saying for example that grade 12 is successfully completed when in fact it isn’t. There are two things wrong when you lie; 1) you lied 2) you don’t mind.

“So what?” you say. “Everybody lies.” That ironically is yet another lie. The more you lie the easier it becomes to the point where you don’t even realize the words you speak are bold-faced lies anymore. No, not everyone lies on their resume, and in fact very few do. To answer the question however you’ve asked however, I’ll tell you what.

When you lie and get caught, you place yourself in danger of being penalized for that lie, and that penalty might cause you to lose a great deal. You could be fired, fined, disciplined, held back from promotions, removed from assignments – even jailed depending on what you are lying about. I mentioned in a much earlier post about a fellow who lost his job after 5 years because he confided in a co-worker that he didn’t really have his grade 12 and then the two had a falling out. 5 years gone.

Ah but you don’t plan on getting caught. Right. You’ll be the one person who somehow will defy all the odds and turn that lie into a good paying secure job. Do you think that all those who went before you planned on getting caught at some point? They all thought that, like you, they would get away with their lie or lies.

Now sure there are stories of young men enlisting in the army who lie about their age so they can be accepted and fight for their country. These fellows are now in their 80’s or 90’s and have a good chuckle over it. You see some DO actually get away with their lie, and saying that would seem to contradict my points in the previous paragraphs. But if I didn’t acknowledge that some who tell lies get away with it, I’d be lying!

It’s not just grade 12 on a resume that people lie about. Some other examples I’ve seen include misrepresenting their name, saying they’ve gone to a certain school when they haven’t, taken courses of training they haven’t – or haven’t successfully passed. I even was in the middle of helping a young person once fine tune their resume when after about 15 minutes, they disclosed that the 6 jobs on their resume were all lies; they’d never worked before anywhere!

My problem with lying on a resume if I’m helping you out is that you’re now including me without my knowledge in your deception. So now you’ve got me unknowingly supporting your poor behaviour. In the case above, I stopped helping the person completely after trying unsuccessfully to get them to see the problem with the lie they were clearly going ahead with. I had to just walk away and that didn’t deter them in the least.

I did mark that person as a liar though. Sure I didn’t know all their circumstances, how desperate they might be for employment and money, but the one thing I do know is that they are too comfortable lying. How could I possibly come to know their circumstances anyhow? Ask them? How would I know if they were spinning another lie?

You see their reputation has been established and once established it takes time and observable behaviour to rectify that image. This of course brings us to you. I can only hope that your reputation might mean something to you and that you would like to have a good reputation with others. Your reputation is something you build with every word you speak and every action you take.

So let’s say you don’t have your grade 12 education just to work with this as a premise. On your resume, you are worried about being honest and saying you only have grade 11 because employers want grade 12 at least. Okay I agree with that. The only answer available however is not to lie and say you have it when you don’t. You could for example say…..

R. J. Barker High School Daning Board of Education            2006

By putting your education on your resume in this fashion, you neither state you have your grade 12 nor do you lie about not having it. You have simply listed the school you attended and the last year you attended. If the employer ASSUMES you have your grade 12 and grants you an interview, your resume has done its job. At the interview you would only be wise to disclose you don’t have your grade 12 if you are asked directly by the interviewer.

You see at an interview you have a chance to explain why you left school, and hopefully your ability to market your skills, maturity, HONESTY and other qualifications get your lack of grade 12 accepted. Perhaps you can even agree to obtain your missing credits in the evenings after work.

Remember that any claim you make on your resume can be checked out. An employer might just want a copy of your diploma for their files. Saying it burned in a fire won’t do if the employer really wants it tracked down.

Lying might be cool in the movies and books, but those are works of fiction. Write your own story with honesty and integrity.




One thought on “Let’s Agree Not To Lie Shall We?

  1. Great insight on what is happening in the world of hiring. The basic message here is don’t lie because you could get caught, or could affect the people working with you and other negative consequences. My take is one doesn’t need to lie because they end up professing that policy to their children and that DNA of thinking stays for generations till the word gets out. So by lying and not getting caught is it the right thing to do as an example for the family you are supporting?

    Now, the second aspect is, yes you get to be honest and present your resume in a professional manner where you haven’t lied nor have you disclosed the delicate situation that you didn’t graduate from the high school you listed. Why do we have to get a job like that in today’s world where you can create your own fingerprint? The other troubling aspect is how many lies did your employer tell you about the job environment they are promising you, till you find out that it isn’t true. If it were so great, why did the previous person leave? End of the day one either lies or stays honest, however, cannot guarantee that their employer didn’t lie or cheat someone out (even their customers). That is also a guilt feeling as one’s salary came out of those lies that the employer deployed while selling their products and/or services.

    On the other hand even if one were honest, it is all based on trust and so the best thing to do is be an example and go create your own fingerprint in the sand for others to follow. There are scores of examples where high school kids, prior to their graduation created breakthroughs of and did their own thing. Why can’t we do so, become entrepreneurial? Wouldn’t that be the best honest thing we could do for our generations?

    Think of these aspects in your long term as one cannot control the credibility and integrity of their employer/organization till the world gets to hear of it. Just go and look at the lawsuits and legal issues your company is facing or the feedback given on Glassdoor and one gets to know the lies behind the interviewing scene. The solution to this lies in your own leadership and taking control of your destiny.

    Unfortunately the world is beset with all negative aspects compared to the best positive aspects in our lives. The good things that happen to us shadows the bad and there is hope to live and do something noble. The internet today offers us to decimate the bad things further. Go out there and get found as an entreprenuer (be it yourself or with the right team). Avoid the hassle of satisfying someone to give you an interview by dodging games on word play resulting in becoming more nervous on what he would ask and what he would say and how it would turn out.

    Good luck and hang in there as this too shall pass with the action (s) one can take toward their future!


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