1. Do not overstate accomplishments:
We should never assume that the contents of a resume will not be validated. It is fine to state approximate figures, percentages, and dollars if you are not sure, but it is ethically wrong to state information in an exaggerated way. Be prepared to support what you have to say and remember that the reader will be impressed at how impactful your resume is, not necessarily with the statistics you present.
2. Do not declare full ownership of work:
While on a job, there are several instances where we complete a task as part of a group effort or we have only assisted in the completion of a project. In such cases, to claim full ownership of an initiative is wrong. Use of phrases such as 'co-producer', 'as part of a team', 'assisted in', 'co-authored', etc. will be more accurate and will not misinterpret your achievements.
3. Do not provide inaccurate job titles:
Tweaking a resume in order to turn it into a more attractive and impactful document for your benefit is a smart thing to do. However, tweaking does not mean to provide wrong information. For instance, if you held the position of a Director, you should not state that you were the Senior Vice President of a company.
4. Do not fabricate dates:
Potential employers are generally more interested in the number of years you have worked in an organization or company, rather than with months and years. It's true that a gap in employment is considered a red flag, but fudging dates in order to cover it up is not going to help. Accurately state the dates in your resume and then use the cover letter to explain what you did during that period of employment gap. Whether it was for taking care of your children or a sick parent, you need to maintain transparency regarding the content you provide. You could also utilize a variety of formats to downplay employment gaps (for instance, the functional format).
5. Do not list unearned degrees:
Information you provide in the education section is extremely important and fairly easy to verify. Here, one should never state degrees that have not been earned. If you have attended a particular course but did not receive the degree, it is best to include just the name of the college, location and the course you took up. Leave the degree off.
6. Do not use keywords you cannot support:
Keywords used straight from your friend's resume or a job posting in order to exhibit your competency and to make your resume sound good, should not be used. Unless the keywords apply to your skill set and you can actually support them at the interview stage, they must be kept at bay.
Resume writing is an art and like all other pieces of art, you need to be creative and innovative in your presentation through which you can showcase your abilities and capture the attention of hiring managers. We need to remember that our credibility is our biggest asset and should do everything in our power to protect it and enhance it, and never to damage it.
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