As job seekers, we are all in a rat race disguised as a high-stakes game of one-upmanship. The problem is not with the competition itself, but with the ways in which job seekers feel compelled to stand out. The resume, a crucial component of this process, is often exaggerated to create an image that is too good to be true.
The Highs & Lows of Job Hunting
Picture the scene: You’re scrolling through countless job boards and coming across your dream job posting. The position is a perfect fit for your skills and your achievements. But as you read further, the job description requires an extraordinary set of skills and qualifications. At this point, you’re probably wondering how one could possibly possess such attributes! You’re not alone, as thousands of job seekers face this very real problem on a daily basis.
The Psychology of Hiring
Employers are always on the lookout for the “perfect candidate.” This is not an unreasonable ask, as companies invest significant resources in their hiring process to ensure that they pick the right candidate. However, the desire to hire the “perfect candidate” has a flip side – it leads to an environment in which job-seekers feel forced to exaggerate their credentials to meet the employer’s expectations. The use of social media platforms and professional networks has fueled this phenomenon, making it easier than ever before to exaggerate our credentials.
The Problem with Exaggerated Resumes
The reliance on exaggerated resumes has the potential to harm both the candidate and the employer. By exaggerating their qualifications, job seekers run the risk of overselling themselves, leading to unwanted scrutiny in the interviews or on the job. The employer, on the other hand, runs the risk of hiring someone who isn’t qualified for the job, leading to a potential loss in revenue, waste of time and other resources.
One prime example of the harm exaggerated resumes can cause is the case of Yahoo’s CEO, Scott Thompson, who was forced to resign after it was revealed that he falsified his resume. It goes without saying that such consequences will be catastrophic for both the career and reputation of the individual involved.
How to Avoid Exaggeration
The best possible way to avoid the use of exaggerated resumes is to be honest about your qualifications and achievements. This does not mean that you should not highlight your achievements; rather, it means that you should be truthful and able to support all the claims on your resume.
As a job seeker, you can still appear competitive while remaining truthful by highlighting your achievements in an objective manner. Use data to support your claims and be specific about the impact of your achievements. Avoid using flowery language and focus on being clear and concise.
- Exaggerating your resume runs the risk of harmful consequences for both the candidate and the employer.
- The pressure to hire the “perfect candidate” can lead to an environment in which job-seekers feel compelled to exaggerate their credentials.
- Being honest and transparent about your qualifications is the best way to avoid the harmful consequences of the use of exaggerated resumes.
- Highlighting your achievements in an objective manner and using data to support your claims is a way to still appear competitive while remaining truthful.
The use of exaggerated resumes is a phenomenon that needs to be addressed by both job seekers and employers. We are all complicit in a system that promotes the use of these resumes, and it is up to us to change it. By being truthful about our qualifications and achievements, we can create a more sustainable and healthy job market for everyone.
Q: Can I exaggerate my resume if everyone else is doing it?
No, absolutely not. It may work in the short term, but sooner or later, it will catch up with you. It’s always better to be truthful about your qualifications and achievements.
Q: Can I use flashy language on my resume to make it stand out?
It’s understandable that you want to make your resume stand out, but it’s important to remember that the person reading it is looking for specific qualifications and experience. Be specific in your language, and focus on data to support your claims.
Q: Why do employers want to hire the “perfect candidate”?
Companies invest significant resources in their hiring process, and they want to make sure that the person they hire is the right fit for the job. However, the desire to hire the “perfect candidate” has contributed to an atmosphere in which job-seekers feel compelled to exaggerate their credentials.