Do not lie on your application or résumé

Tip for the day:  “Past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior”—Dr. Phil McGraw.

Dear Connie:   I was just fired from my last job.  My friend said I should not list my last job on my applications when applying for another job.  He said they will never know I omitted the information because I did not work there 90 days.  He says everyone lies when trying to get a job.  Is that true?

Dear Tell the Truth:   I cannot speak for everyone but I can speak for myself and people I respect. Everyone does not lie on their application.  In fact, lying on an application can cause a person to not be hired or even to be let go from a position if the lie is discovered later.

It is possible that your friend has done this before and was still able to gain employment.  You might not get caught trying this approach.  I am sure you would not decide to rob a bank because your friend has done that and did not get caught. Just because a person may be able to get away with being deceptive, it does not make it either right or smart.

If you lie on an application, you are choosing to be dishonest.  Employers want to hire honest people for several reasons.  Your supervisor does not want to spend his time worrying that you will be dishonest and not do the job you were hired to do.  Your company does not want to worry about you stealing supplies, money or goods.

When it comes to applications, be honest because omitted information is considered the same as being dishonest.  Background checks and reference checks can reveal a lot of information about a person who is applying for a position with a company. Be sure that all of your dates and prior employment information on your résumé and application match.  If you have a felony and the application requires you disclose this information, do so. Discrepancies between written and verbal information is one tool used to disqualify applicants during the interview process.

This is also a good time to consider your personal view on honesty and ethics.  Because someone has done something for years does not mean that they will “always get away with it.”  We have seen professionals lose prestigious jobs for lying about their education on their résumé.  We are now watching large company’s deal with ethical issues.

Remember, if you tell a lie you have to remember who you told what so you can keep your story straight.  Why put yourself through such stress?  Be responsible for whom you are and what you do, and you will be a valued and well-respected employee.

Connie’s Career Corner is your source for career information.  E-mail questions for future columns to

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