When preparing your resume, you might find yourself coming face to face with some issues from your past. Perhaps you will then find yourself trying to figure out how to fix those issues to make your resume look a bit cleaner and more professional.
Maybe you are eight credits short of graduating from college but you dropped out for some reason. It probably would just look better if you go ahead and say you have a degree. Even better, what if you have an associate degree but the job requires a bachelor degree? A degree is a degree, it doesn’t really matter which kind of a degree, does it?
Maybe you have a big gap in your work history or maybe you don’t want to include a job where you were fired. Why not just fudge the dates a bit and make all your past work experience run back to back from each other. Think again!
When you are in a job search, you will almost always have to complete a job application as the process moves along and you are officially considered a “candidate.” What you write on your job application will make or break your chances of getting the job.
What is So Important About a Job Application?
Most employers want candidates to complete a job application because your resume is not any sort of legal document. A job application is, and companies run background checks off them.
In reality, you can fudge your resume all you like but what happens when you have to complete a job application? At the end of your job application, you do sign away your life attesting to the truth of everything you have written on that document.
The background check employers run will likely verify your education, your past work experience, and your criminal background. Companies might run credit reports on you if you work in the financial field or motor vehicle record checks if you will be required to drive for your job. Many companies run those on everyone regardless of the position for which you have applied.
Being Honest and Direct
When you are filling out your job application, you need to be 100% truthful. And although it doesn’t happen often, you can even be prosecuted for misrepresenting yourself. This would typically happen if it weren’t discovered until after you started the job and it caused harm to the company.
If you have a job gap, explain it. If you want to leave a job off your resume and application, you can. Just don’t extend the dates of other jobs to cover that time period.
Do You Have Any Skeletons in Your Closet?
On the job application you will likely be asked if you have ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony. This includes DUIs, which, in our experience, is the most common charge that shows up on background checks.
It is my guesstimate that 75% of people who have a criminal record or a DUI do not disclose it on the job application. They answer the question, “No.” This is a lie and you will not likely get the job if a company learns your falsified your job application.
The truth is: if you have a criminal record or a DUI you could very well get hired anyway, if you disclose it. If you don’t disclose it, it doesn’t matter what it is, you will not likely get hired just based on the fact that you lied on your application.
Finally, I would advise anyone who has a charge on his or her record that can be expunged, to get it done! I have seen many very dated charges come up on candidate’s background checks that caused them to lose the job when it could have been avoided altogether if the candidate would just have had it expunged off his/her record.
What you write on your job application is critical to your success in getting a job. Hiring managers know people are human. Things happen. People make mistakes. Don’t make another mistake by misrepresenting yourself on your application!
http://www.creativenetworkinc.com/php1/ The Creative Network, Inc. is an executive recruiting firm with expertise in the consumer products industries with emphasis in the Art/Craft, Office Products, Gift, Stationery, Toy, Publishing, Home Decor, and Tabletop, HBA and Grocery Channels. Visit The Creative Network at http://www.creativenetwork.com.