Most people do not think much of piling on a few "little lies" to their resume. After all, a small lie cannot hurt anyone, especially if it can help you in clinching a job, right? WRONG! If you are caught lying, you may have to face dire consequences that may leave a permanent mark on your career.
Having said that, the fact remains that almost one quarter of job seekers tend to lie on their resumes. What do they lie about?
Lies On Resumes
Lies about qualifications and certifications.
Lies about employment dates to hide gaps in employment history.
Lies about responsibilities/position at jobs held previously.
Inventing non-existant employers to hide gaps in employment history.
Embellishment of resume with fake certifications, skills, achievements etc.
These are a few common things that people lie about with an aim to win the invitation for a personal interview. Most people think that they can "explain" or handle the situation in a face-to-face meeting. But in order to be invited for that meeting, a spectacular resume is the key. This might be true to an extent, but it does not warrant lying on your resume.
Your resume is not a legal document. So there's no chance of any criminal proceedings against you if you lie on your resume. But most employers are very ruthless when they find out that a candidate has been lying about his past in order to get the job offer. Even if the lies are discovered after you have joined the company, you can expect to face an immediate termination of employment. What's more, such things have a way of getting around, and it may become very difficult for you to get a new job in the industry. Is it really worth it?
Why You Shouldn't Lie?
Simply because it is very easy (and probable) to get caught lying. Almost all companies do a background check on their new employees. This means that all your lies are bound to be discovered sooner than later.
What Should You Do?
If you feel that your skills/experience are not consistent with the demands of the position you are interested in, you should apply anyway. At worst, your application and resume may find their way into the thick HR file, never to be looked at again. But on the positive side, the employers may see potential in you and invite you for an interview. For the second scenario to be possible, it is important that you honestly mention the truth in your covering letter. Tell them that you do not match the job specifications exactly, but that you are a quick learner and are confident of acquiring all the required skills in a short time. This shows honesty and initiative along with a positive attitude. These are the qualities they are looking for!
So the essence of the matter is that you don't need to lie in order to find a decent job. Even if you feel that you need to adorn your resume with imagination, please avoid lying because it can be very harmful for your career.