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Real Business : 2013 Issue 1
LOOKING FOR your rst graduate job can be a big challenge. You need to di erentiate yourself from many other graduates just to make it to an inter view. You need to show you have what it takes, but what if you feel having a degree and some casual employment is not impressive enough? You've probably seen resumes that are full of entries and span pages and you may feel the pressure to say more, even if it's not true. at is when the temptation to "enhance" your resume may strike. ere is no de nite evidence about how many people lie in their resume, or to what extent, because many of the lies are not uncovered. But many do. Lying on your resume is not only dishonest, it is also A PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES EVA TSAHURIDU Policy Adviser -- Professional Standards and Governance for CPA Australia ASK THE ETHICIST fraudulent and could have legal consequences. Remember, your resume and any statements you make as part of your job application are not only used to get you to the interview. ey will follow you for a long time, sometimes for your whole career. ere are many examples of resume fraud (see Resume liars, right), which show how serious the consequences can be. Lying on a resume is dishonest that help recruiters. You do not know how long this resume will be in circulation and who will see it in the future. Importantly, having a good resume and even interviewing well will not help you do the job if you do not have the skills and abilities you claim to have. In an e ort to help graduates get their rst proper job, some career advice overlooks the obligation to provide an honest yet complete resume. ere is a di erence between representing your skills and experiences fully, and fabricating them. Extend yourself at is why it is important to ensure you end up not only with a degree, but also develop a number of skills and experiences during your time at university. Take opportunities to lead, mentor, develop, compete, train and network as well as gaining good marks each year. Universities have governance mechanisms that seek student input. ey have committees with student representation. You'll learn new skills, help improve education and expand your network. Many universities have programs that invite existing students to mentor new students. ey have student clubs and teams. ese activities will not only help you develop skills, they will help you show initiative, leadership, problem solving, teamwork and motivation on your resume, and give you relevant examples to use in inter views. Keep learning and challenging yourself so you have a resume that stands out. and risky. You do not know who is selecting, inter viewing or screening candidates. You do not know what background checks are done; there are a number of resume veri cation organisations Resume liars An extreme case of resume fraud involved Gerald Shirtcliff, who supervised the construction of the CTV building in Christchurch, New Zealand, which collapsed during the 2011 earthquake, killing 115 people. Shirtcliff had used the identity of a previous co-worker, William Fisher, and his engineering degree to gain entry to a masters degree in Sydney. He has been stripped of his masters degree, deregistered from Engineers Australia and is being investigated by police. Then there is the case of Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson, who falsely claimed he had a degree in computer science. Yahoo initially said this was an inadvertent error, but the resume with the computer science degree was found to have been circulating for about a decade. Thompson lost his job less than five months after his appointment. Ironically, many argue he did not need the computer science degree to become Yahoo's CEO. DISHONEST AND RISKY. YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW LONG THIS RESUME WILL BE ALIVE. LYING ON A RESUME IS Nothing but the truth Being less than honest in your resume can have serious and long-term consequences. DoIneedtolieor exaggerate on my resume to get the job? Q 31
Issue 3 2012