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How and Why to be Honest in Your Resume

Date: 21/08/2013

How and why to be honest in your resume 

Benjamin Franklin explained it best when he wrote, "honesty is the best policy." Not only does this apply to politics, but very much so to resumes as well.

A lot of people seem to think that it's okay to stretch the truth when writing their resumes. But if truth be told, this will more than likely come back for them like a boomerang. During the interview questions you’re running the risk of ‘spilling the beans’ by stating the truth. Avoid overstating your achievements. You want to sound credible and give the employer the impression that you would be a reliable asset to their work environment.

You don't want to misrepresent yourself, so be precise and consistent when writing your resume. Employers like to see what you've accomplished, and a great way to show them is by quantifying your results. Numbers can be very valuable when used accordingly. If you've managed a sizable budget or inked a big deal — mention that. 

Remember that any unpaid jobs, such as volunteer and community work, are qualified as accomplishments as well — include these in your resume. This also gives the employer an idea of how you spend your ‘free time.’ Also highlight any education, professional awards and skills that you can relate to the position you're applying for. 

Pay attention to your choice of words when describing yourself. If you're a rather reserved person, don't describe yourself as being energetic and out-going. Instead, focus on your personality traits which relate to the position that you're applying for, while at the same time staying true to yourself. 

It's important that your employment history follows with at least two references. You don’t want to leave your employer wondering who to contact. Include the name of your supervisor, name of the company and his/her position title, phone number (not mobile), as well as an email address. 

At the end of the day, your goal shouldn’t be to target the best position available. Your main goal should be targeting the job that matches your career and personality, as this gives you an opportunity to make use of your skills and experiences in a way that benefits yourself as well as the employer.