Fib on a Job Application? Think About a Background Check First

Should you ever lie? What you lie about can be inconsequential or a career killer, according to a blog post on The inconsequential? Adding a few inches to your height on an online dating profile. Career killers? Being dishonest – even just fudging – job dates, titles, or positions.

But, you might think to yourself, “I’ve known others who have lied on applications and got away with it.” However, first ask yourself, “How accurate are these statements (if a person lied on their job application, how honest is he or she being with me?) and when did they apply for a job?” If the lying occurred in 1990, he or she might have gotten lucky in a job search, but in 2011, 95 percent of all hiring employers conduct background checks on potential hires. As you can construe from this blog, most pre-employment background checks don’t simply look at criminal history but also dates, duties, degrees, or majors; past addresses and names; references; and credit history.

Although the BNet piece touches on a few points pertaining to lying in life in general, especially about salary, how can lying in an application, cover letter, or resume hurt you?

• A clear discrepancy in information can cost you a job.
• Industry professionals talk and, depending upon your career stage, could brand you as a “liar” or “deceiver.”
• If you are dishonest about even small things, how can you be fully honest about larger aspects on the job?
• Similarly, if you can’t be honest about small things, how does an employer know you’re telling the truth at all?

Why take chances with your career? As employers have upped use of background checks, including credit screenings, hiding or fibbing information about yourself is downright impossible.