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Resume Dilemmas: Should You Lie On Your Resume?
It is a real dilemma for over five million unemployed people who have been unable to secure a job, even a shit job paying $9 hr, for over nine months or more. If you have never been in this situation, you simply do not know what it is like. This is revealed when the infamous statement is spoken: " You mean, you can't find a job at a fast food joint?" "Surely, there is SOME job out there you can get".
Most blogs and online commentators rightly state, you should not lie or stretch the truth on your resume. Why? It is simply too easy to check. If the check is done, that is. If it is, any shot of getting a job is history. Of course, it is a gamble, which might work in your favor, the check may never happen.
If you are one of the five million out of work for nine months to a year, odds are, you are more willing to take the gamble because you have nothing to lose. With the job market having six applicants to one job, probably way more in some fields, you compete with a slew of applicants:
1. Those still working but wanting a better gig
2. Those out of work less than 3 months
3. Those out of work less than 6 months
4. Those out of work less than one year
5. Those out of work over a year
6. Those highly qualified or qualified with recent experience
7. Those with skills that are now dated because of lack of employment, yet, still valid if given the chance
Employers who read cover letters explaining why the applicant has been unemployed for nine months or more, simply are passed over into a dead file if the applicant pool provides better choices, even if you are obviously qualified. Fact is, the more time passes and you remain unemployed, the more desperate the job seeker becomes, the harder it is to present a valid argument to an employer that does not create suspicion on their part, as in, "this person must not be good person, why has he not worked"?
Employers really could care less about the sob story, they just want the best person for the gig. Period. All this BS about how employers care, how you should state you went back to school, took courses, took care of kids or loved one, really is just false hope. Sure, you might, if you are lucky, get sympathy, but when comparing resumes, if all is equal, the applicant with fewer gaps or long gaps in employment history will get the interview or job.
So, the whole economic situation, the flood of job seekers, employer attitudes about long term unemployment force many of the five million to simply lie to cover the gaps, to shorten the gap period, to make it appear one's unemployment is more temporary (a few months) instead of the reality (a year or more). It is a gamble worth taking to them. There is nothing left to try. Most by this time, have tried all venues and the results remain bad.
If the liar gets the job, and is performing well when the lie is discovered, most employers will be ruthless and terminate it and within 30 minutes, the person is unemployed again. Job performance seems to have absolutely no meaning now, but did, just prior to the discovery. Some employers may actually give you chance to explain, this is the best case scenario, which will probably still end in termination.
If this occurs, what did the person achieve? Well, money. Maybe new skills. Maybe new contacts. If not caught, the gamble paid off. Period. The government should have a job program like the US Census. Temp work, paying $20-25 hr. Jobs given to those who score well on the exam. A person's job history is totally irrelevant. If you score well, you will have the opportunity to work for a decent wage. In this way, chronic unemployed can regain their footing in the work world, learn and be competitive.
Should one lie on the resume? Depends on the applicant's situation.