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The job market can be tough. There may be dozens or hundreds of other people all vying for the same position. In an effort to make themselves stand out and appear more qualified for the job, some job seekers may embellish their resume a bit or tell small lies. While in some cases this may seem harmless, it can end up costing them the job and it does not sit well with employers. Consider how far technology has come and how much information is available with just a few clicks on the Internet. It’s often not hard for hiring managers to reveal the truth.

There are a few common areas where it may be tempting to lie on your resume; however, you’re better off being honest rather than taking your chances and being caught.

  • Location

If you’re looking to relocate, you may think it’s a good idea to use a friend’s address who lives locally to make it look like you’re in the area. However, your current employment may show that you, in fact, work elsewhere. While working remotely is a possibility, it’s not practical in some positions. Also, what happens when an employer wants you to come for an interview and you’re several hours (or states!) away? It might not be so easy to navigate your way there in a timely manner. Instead, mention in your cover letter that you are in the process of relocating.

  • Job Title

Although you may have taken on more responsibility, if your job title didn’t officially change to reflect this, don’t change it yourself. Inflating your title to make yourself appear more senior can quickly be uncovered when a hiring manager calls to verify your employment. A better option is to indicate that you assumed increased responsibility or served in other roles while in the position and then highlight your accomplishments.

  • Employment Dates

Trying to cover up a gap in employment? Lying about the length of time you were with a company is not the way to go about it. Once again, a quick call to the employer to verify can put up a red flag. Small gaps in employment are not a huge concern. Use the years rather than specific months, and if you do have a gap, show what you were doing during that time, whether it was furthering your education or volunteering.

  • Education

If you attended classes for a few years but didn’t quite earn your degree, don’t say that you did. It’s also not a stellar idea to make up degrees, certifications, or institutions. With a little bit of research, an employer can see that you are lying. Be honest about your education and training. If you feel your education is lacking, sign up for professional development courses or look into going to back to school.

  • Competencies

Watching a video on YouTube about how to use QuickBooks does not make you proficient. It will become apparent to employers when you’re asked about, or need to complete, certain tasks if you don’t actually have the skills to do so. You can only fake so much. Once again, if you’re looking at jobs that require specific skills which you don’t have, consider getting training.