Honesty in Resumes and Job Applications

In Uncategorized on May 10, 2011 at 7:24 pm

There is no doubt that it is important to be honest with a potential employer when you are applying for a job. However, this does not mean that you need to offer information that is not relevant to the job or your ability to do it well. For this reason, I suggest the following tips for creating resumes and completing job applications.

1. Do not provide personal information such as physical attributes (or disabilities), age, and personal details such as religion and ethnicity. Employers are not allowed to make hiring decisions based on these elements, and so they are irrelevant.

2. Focus on information about yourself that qualifies you for the specific job or company to which you are applying. Remember that a resume should only be one page or a maximum of two in length. While it is essential to be honest, there is such a thing as providing too much information. If in doubt, leave it out.

3. You do not always need to include your entire job history, particularly if you are an older applicant and are concerned about advertising that fact. List only those positions which contributed to your overall experience and qualifications for the particular job you are applying for. It is not mandatory to include every job you have ever had.

4. It is not generally necessary to include exact dates for each job you held. While some job applications require specific dates of employment and still ask for an explanation of employment gaps, in today’s economy this is becoming much rarer. It is often acceptable to give only the number of years of employment or a range of dates that only includes the year you began working in a specific position and the year you ended.

5. Create one general list at the top of your resume which highlights your overall qualifications instead of repeating job descriptions for each position. This way you can leave out irrelevant details that may make a particular position look less impressive. Employers are more concerned with your overall skills and accomplishments than in a chronological listing or a detailed explanation of each position you ever held.

6. Do not include a picture of yourself. Unless you are applying for a job in an entertainment industry where a picture is relevant and required as part of the application process, your appearance should not be a factor in whether or not you receive an interview. That being said, appearance does contribute to an employer’s overall impression of you, so remember to dress for success when you do meet a potential employer.

7. Only include hobbies and interests if they specifically relate to the position you are applying for or demonstrate that you have certain skills they are looking for. For example, having a role of responsibility or leadership within a club or organization can demonstrate your management skills, but simply belonging to a cooking club is not relevant unless you are applying for a job related to food preparation.

You can learn more about writing resumes and completing job applications in the Comprehensive Career Entry & Preparation Guide at