According to a recent survey conducted by Galaxy Research, over one-third of Australian job seekers admit to significant lies at some stage of their job application process.

From exaggerating previous work experience, making up references and false qualifications the lies come thick and fast, making it difficult for recruiters to make the right decision when choosing the best candidate.

Whilst it may seem logical to do this, especially if it seems as though so many others are, is it really in you best interests to be dishonest in either your resume, job application letter or interview?

Here are a few reasons why it may not be such a great idea.

You get the job, but can you do the job?  Sometimes the only thing worse than not getting something that you want is getting something that you want. 

This is especially true if what you want is a role that is beyond your current capabilities.  If you need to lie to get a particular job, then the chances are you probably shouldn’t get it and if you did get it, you probably wouldn’t be able to do it well. 

Sure, you may be able to fumble your way through for a while, but the pressure of trying to hide your deficiencies is a stress that you could do without.

Someone may find out.  There are two ways that someone could find out:

  • The first would be during the application process.  It may be a question regarding your resume that you can’t answer accurately or a ref check that finds you out.  It’s moderately embarrassing, but not as bad as the second way.
  • The second way that someone could find out may be after you have the job, when that qualification or experience that you said you had turns out to be false and you are unable to complete an important component of your role.  Now that’s embarrassing!

Integrity is important.  There’s a difference between selling yourself and selling out.  It is important that you learn to sell yourself and your skills.  There’s nothing wrong with positively articulating your abilities in your interview.  In fact you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t confidently describe your strengths as no-one else is going to do it for you.

However, there comes a time when you need to understand the difference between asserting your compatibility for a job and bare-faced lying. 

Just because many others are doing it doesn’t make it right.  Protect your integrity and make sure that you can feel comfortable with everything that you put in writing or say about yourself.  Dishonesty in one area of you life can easily encroach upon other areas, so maintain your integrity at all times.

The process of applying for roles is a demanding one and the temptation is there to embellish to get that dream job.  However, there are consequences for actions so you really want to get jobs on merit.

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