Before we get to the resume tips, let’s get one thing straight: It’s never really a good idea to lie on a resume. If you get caught, you’re not going to get the job — plus, word may get around to other potential employers that you lied. That said, if you’re applying for a job and you know your resume isn’t stellar, you’re going to be extremely tempted to lie. So what do you do?
Well, there are ways to … stretch (or hide) the truth instead of just lying on a resume. It requires you to be clever with the wording on your past job descriptions, to use some sneaky formatting tricks, and to know what’s okay and what’s probably going to blow up in your face. But don’t take our word for it — we asked for resume tips from by Roy Cohen, a career consultant and the author of The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide.
DO: FUDGE YOUR EXPERIENCE A LITTLE BIT
If a job posting requires five years of experience and you’ve only got three under your belt, avoid drawing attention to the gap by leaving your graduation year off of your resume. In addition, list the years you worked at jobs, not the months. That way, working a job from “September of 2010 to June of 2011” becomes “2010 to 2011,” which sounds like one or two years instead of 10 months. See? These resume tips don’t require lying on a resume, they just require creative problem solving — a skill any employer looks for in an employee!
DON’T: FILL YOUR RESUME WITH B.S.
“Employers are automatically suspicious of buzzwords,” Cohen tells us. So writing things like “strategically developing,” “overseeing,” and “one of a kind” are phrases that scream “bullshit.” Instead, be specific about what you do and what you’ve accomplished — especially if you do more than your title might suggest. Being detailed about certain projects and using actual numbers will make your case for you.