Posted-on September 2019 By Rupert Harvey
In a country where most of us tell our kids about Santa and the Easter Bunny, at the same time we're telling them not to lie, well life can be confusing. Apparently, we all lie multiple times a day, and to a minority of us, being consistently truthful is a hard thing to do.
As a recruiter we have been taught to question resumes, to ask about gaps, have accurate dates, cross reference LinkedIn profiles, look at previous resumes candidates may have submitted. It seems to me there is almost an acceptance that you can lie on your resume, in the same way you can blur the edges around your tax return.
Sometimes the workplace demands lying. If you are going for another job often you may need to take time off work for an interview. Many candidates will take a sick day and the next day look their boss in the eye while faking a hacking cough and tell them how sick they are. There’s not much choice though in this scenario.
Research shows most of us think we are more ethical and honest than we really are. My experience in the recruitment world is similar to the conclusion found in the documentary “The Truth About Lies”, most people will lie a little, a few are compulsive liars. When people are reminded to be honest though, like swearing on a bible or adhering to a code of ethics, they pull back on their behaviour.
It’s not ok to lie on your resume, it’s not ok to fabricate experience, skills and dates. Our personal brand is built around acting with integrity and honesty, once this has been breached it’s hard to win trust back. I think we all need a reminder to reflect on how we behave and ask ourselves honestly, how honest we are.