Your resume is often the first impression you make on a hiring manager. While you want to put your best foot forward, it’s important that what you include isn’t considered misleading. Otherwise, the hiring manager may view the misstep as dishonesty once it is discovered.
Essentially, if a potential detail on your resume could be considered disingenuous, it’s best to leave it off this critical document. If you aren’t sure what kinds of information could qualify, here’s a look at a few resume items you should never include, to be safe.
Education Information That Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story
While including an overview of your educational qualifications is a good idea, make sure that what you provide actually tells the whole story. If all you list is a college or university and attendance dates (and possibly a major), it may seem like you’re implying that you have a degree. That means if you didn’t finish the program, and that comes to light, it won’t reflect well on you.
If you are listing education details but didn’t earn a degree, clarify it on your resume. One way to do this is to include how many credits toward the degree you received, or note that the experience was “non-degree-earning.”
However, if you are still working on that degree, you can list that instead. For example, saying that you have an “anticipated graduation date,” and including the month and year you expect to finish, shows that the degree is in progress.
An Inaccurate Physical Address
Moving is a common experience for many professionals at some point in their careers. If you know where you want to end up, you may be tempted to list that city as your physical location on your resume or applications. You may think that it increases your chances of being considered by the hiring manager, or at least prevents the fact that you aren’t in the area yet from holding you back.
The issue is, if your resume lists a different city than where you are, there’s a decent chance that will come out. For example, if the hiring manager asks you to come in for an interview the next day, that might not be feasible for you. When you decline that quick interview or request another date, the hiring manager may ask why.
You could run into similar trouble if the hiring manager needs you to complete certain employment documents that require a full, accurate address. It’s also possible that you’ll get caught when you have to explain that you can’t start right away because you are moving.
Ultimately, listing a different city than where you live could be considered deceitful. As a result, it not usually worth the risk.
When it comes to your resume, accuracy and transparency are important. If there’s any chance the hiring manager may view a detail as falsified, exaggerated, or deceitful, don’t include it.
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