How to Make Your Resume More Believable
Lying on your resume?
A recent study about lying on resumes found that over 90% of the participants lied at least a little on their resumes.
What People Lie About on Their Resumes
In looking at the lies, the researchers found they grouped neatly into four categories:
1. Job responsibilities — what the participants did.
2. Abilities — how well they performed their responsibilities.
3. Involvement — the level of the participants’ roles and the relative amount of time they spent on each responsibility.
What People Lie About on Their LinkedIn Profiles
The researchers also looked at what their participants lied about on their public LinkedIn profiles.
They found the same four topics.
However, the participants were more likely to lie about information that is harder to verify, such as interests.
They were less likely to lie about information that’s easy to verify, such as responsibilities.
LinkedIn doesn't have to be time consuming or confusing. 3Plus can help you for FREE with our Daily LinkedIn routine for today's super busy women.
What People Lie About on Both Their Resumes & LinkedIn Profiles
The participants lied most about their abilities — at about the same rate on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles.
Next, they lied about their level of involvement — at the same rate on their resumes and profiles.
Lying on Resumes: Abilities & Level of Involvement
In my experience, most of these types of lies seep into resumes and LinkedIn profiles via the use of adjectives and adverbs.
Look at the following examples of how a Director-level job seeker might represent his/her ability and involvement with C-level executives:
Quickly and successfully built C-level relationships across disciplines.
The words “quickly” and “successfully” reflect the writer’s opinion. Maybe he’s right. Maybe he’s lying on his resume. Who knows?
Once a sophisticated reader sees adjectives and adverbs on a resume, they roll their eyes and start asking themselves, “Is this person lying?”
Member of IT Steering Committee comprised of COO, CIO, and CFO.
This is a factual statement. The reader can infer that C-level executives think highly enough of this person to include her on their company’s IT Steering Committee.
Her simple statement of fact carries more credibility than the first example’s opinions.
How to Make Your Resume More Believable
Read through your resume. Highlight the adjectives and adverbs. Rewrite to eliminate them.
Other people get to describe you with adjectives and adverbs.
You will make your resume and LinkedIn profile more believable by stating facts.
If you need inspiration, look at this post.
A Second Way to Make Your Resume More Believable
The researchers found that the study participants lied more about their responsibilities on their resumes than they did on their public LinkedIn profiles.
The more verifiable a statement was — such as responsibilities — the more likely the participants were to be honest about it on their public LinkedIn profiles.
If you want to make your resume more believable, give it some daylight. Copy and paste it into your public LinkedIn profile.
Showing you’re willing to submit your resume to public scrutiny, and the eyes of former colleagues, makes it more believable to recruiters and hiring managers than hiding it.
Note to Interviewers
Knowing that many people embellish their abilities and involvement can help you craft clarifying interview questions.
• Tell me more about your relationship with the COO. What was your most significant interaction with him? Define your role? What results did you obtain?
• What percentage of your time did you spend working with/for C-level executives? Who? What was your most critical responsibility/project? What was the situation? How did you deal with that? What results did you obtain? How much of your year did it take?
• What was the Steering Committee’s charter? Tell me about a time you influenced a significant decision. What was the situation? How did you handle it? What was the result?
Dig in on candidates’ big claims — especially about abilities and involvement.
Don’t assume their resumes and LinkedIn profiles give you accurate information. The study showed us that lying on resumes, at least a little, is the norm.
Do you have your resume ready but you're unsure how to start looking for a job? Our Returner Roll-Up Session can help you Create a plan for your online job search.
Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services
Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.
The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)
Dates for the Diary
We have Remote Learning Programs available
Check out our exciting portfolio of offerings to support your business in upskilling and competence building for your teams, to address the unprecedented challenges that women face in this new totally a digital world.
Download and listen free podcasts
How to Create an Effective USP What is a USP? Our Unique Selling Point or UVP (Unique Value Proposition) is our key core message about where...read more
How to Rethink the Modern Workplace for Gender Equality New research shows that diversity and inclusion is a top priority for leaders. So why...read more
Menopause in the workplace In this podcast with Nicki Williams award winning author, keynote speaker and Founder of Happy Hormones for Life,...read more
How to Cultivate Empathy in the Workplace Nancy Milton, international business communications expert, keynote speaker and author, share some vital...read more
Taking Care of your COW Tanvi Guatam, international Personal Branding expert says there is a misconception out there that a personal brand is...read more
The importance of Hard Talk Dawn Metcalfe, author of Managing the Matrix and Hard Talk, shares with us tips to achieve the lasting communication...read more
When Does Female Rivalry Turn into Sabotage There’s a lot of stuff written on social media about female rivalry and competition between women. Some...read more
Goal setting tips to boost your career The happiest people are those that really love their jobs. Those that don’t, dread Sunday nights and...read more
How to Get Noticed by Head Hunters & Recruiters In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions asked multiple...read more
Even the most seasoned of speakers get nervous before making a presentation. Here are 8 tips to conquer those presentation nerves.read more
Dr. Tanvi Gautam is an award winning diversity and inclusion specialist and HR thought leader splitting her time between Asia and the US. Read her words and thoughts of wisdom in this 3Plus Women Who Inspire series.read more
Virtual event promotion is important, but this is especially true for online events as they are new for many people, here is what to try, and to avoid!read more