Don’t even consider it. You may think a white lie is inconsequential, but the truth is that you will likely pay dearly for that error in judgment. If you are offered a position based on information you have provided on your resume and a recruiter subsequently discovers that you have been untruthful, your job offer may be rescinded or, worse, you may be fired once on the job.
Of course recruiters understand that resumes are not affidavits, however, you are still expected to be truthful with information you provide. Many employers use outside vendors to perform background checks, and they will ask for a candidate’s previous job titles, dates of employment, reasons for termination and eligibility for rehire. While many employers will not officially divulge all that information, reference checkers can uncover damaging details through creativity, persistence and easy access to online networks—which may include former coworkers and even your references!
I was once asked to verify that a former employee was also a personal friend. Unprepared to respond to that question, I stumbled my way through several more questions that seemed to impugn my integrity and objectivity as an employer.
Job titles can be problematic because they sometimes do not reflect actual work done and can be different based on employer size and industry. You can show this accurately by including an appropriate functional title behind your official title, e.g., Sales Representative (Global Account Representative).
An inadvertent error that many candidates make is claiming a B.S. degree when the actual degree is a B.A. Check your diploma and make a mental note of the degree or keep an official transcript on file so that you can be sure. Anyone requesting an official transcript has easy access to the truth. If you cannot be relied on to get that easily verifiable fact correct, everything else you have mentioned on your resume will be suspect.
Ellie Vargo, MRW, CCMC