Careerbuilder has done a survey indicating that 58% of the hiring managers caught a lie on a resume…quite a surprising number I must say…
But the question arises…is it worth the bother to lie during a selection process?
People lie about all sorts of things: they spice up their responsibilities, they play a little with the end date of their employment or they claim to have a degree that they have not finished.
I am not a clairvoyant so it could be that you may actually get away with it…initially.
But selection is a process, a process during which my client and me gather little bits of information about you that will determine whether you are the right fit for a job.
It’s very difficult to keep up a lie during that process for several reasons. People will ask you different questions and all the time you have to tell the same story because, and this may not come as a surprise…we actually share the information. Details that may seem irrelevant at the time, can contradict each other and indicate that you potentially are not a hundred percent truthful.
Secondly, there is also intuition and practice: if you are telling a story that does not fully represent the reality, your body language will change. You become more hesitant, you shift positions and you start talking more in general terms. I may not be able to put my finger on it but my intuition will tell that something is not right.
And last but not least, I may run into someone who knows you and who tells a different story.
The uncomfortable feeling that you are not fully honest can prevent you from forward in the process. But getting caught while telling a lie is fatal.
Hiring someone is highly based on trust, trust that you are the right fit, trust that you will be successful and trust that you will act in the benefit of your employer.
Getting caught with a lie destroys that trust, even if you already started in the job.
But do you have to fully disclose every aspect of your life during a selection…no… that is not required either. A few years ago, I asked a candidate what she was most proud of. After some hesitation, she bursted into tears and shared a very personal story with me. That is the time when a little white lie is permitted…
On aspects that do not relate to your professional life, it is ok to withhold information. You don’t have to share with me any marital problems, kids issues or unpleasant personal events from your past, provided this does affect your professional performance.
While writing this, I started wondering…keeping in mind the Careerbuilder survey…who of you has told me a lie that I did not discover… J
I look forward to hearing from you,
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