Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The emperor has no clothes

I was reading a stat today that about 10 to 30 percent of resumes have lies in them, whether inflating or exaggerating accomplishments to lying about military experience or saying one has a degree from a school that one does not have one from*. I don't understand what's the point. The lie might get you in the door -- for instance, I could say I'm a petroleum engineer with 20 years of experience, but anyone's going to know 3 minutes into my first day on the job that that can't possibly be true.

That's what keeps me honest. I stress over things like getting the month of my graduations right (honestly cannot remember anymore if I graduated in April, May or June of a certain year). I recently took some bullet points off my resume from when I was at Very Big Insurance Company; I'm sure they were true, but it's been nearly a decade and I can't remember what projects those bullet points refer to now. If I can't talk intelligently about the things on my resume, off them come.

It's awfully tempting to put programs like SPSS or Minitab on my resume because I have used them at one point, but gosh darn if I remember how to use it. I know those are programs that are in demand in my field and I know it wouldn't take me long to learn them, but still -- something holds me back, namely conscience. I'd rather 'fess to having used them at some point, the memory has faded, but I'm confident I could re-learn in a short period of time.

It's a tough job market, but there are plenty of examples out there of people representing one thing to get the job but don't last any length of time because they're very quickly found out. Not worth it, in my opinion.

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