Why honesty on your resume is important

Sanne de Kruijf

It's not really allowed, yet it sometimes happens that people lie on their resume. A resume is a document in which people describe their education, skills, work experiences and other qualifications. In this blog we discuss several reasons why lying on your resume is a no-go, what consequences it can have and give you tips to write an honest resume.  

Why lie on your resume?

Adding a little white lie to your resume happens more often than you think. Staffcircle research shows that 32% of their survey participants have occasionally lied on their resume. This may be about their work experience and skills to better fit the job they are applying for. Some job seekers may have been laid off, taken a long trip or taken a break for some other reason. A gap on your resume can be suspicious to recruiters and HR personnel. They may ask about it during the interview and this can sometimes be uncomfortable for the applicant. Therefore, they may change their start and end dates of jobs to fill these gaps. But did you know that this can have serious consequences on your future career?


It may be tempting to polish your work experience or education on your resume while applying for a job, but it is important to realize that this is unfair to your employer. In addition, the risk of getting caught is high. Many employers check references before hiring you. If you are caught giving inaccurate information, it could lead to dismissal or a negative notation on your employer references. This can backfire on your future career because it brings distrust to your next job application.  

Moreover, it may also have legal consequences. According to Article 225 of the Criminal Code, intentionally stating false information on your resume or concealing certain things is punishable. If this gets you a job that you otherwise would not have gotten, it can be considered fraud. You may even be fined for this. Therefore, it is better to be honest on your resume and only include information that is actually true, so you can apply honestly without risking trouble.

But what can you do to still excel? These tips will help you land your dream job with an honest resume.

Focus on results

Differentiate yourself by focusing on the good points of your resume. Highlight the results you achieved. For example, write, "I caused search results to increase by 12%," instead of, "I was responsible for optimizing search results. This way, you write down what you did and prove your skills by telling what you accomplished with it. You will then leave a bigger impression with the company you are applying to.  

Start and end date

In addition to years, always include the month you started. That way the employer can see how long you worked somewhere and if you change jobs quickly. Do you have a gap in your resume because you took a year to travel or quit your education early? Then list this briefly and concisely. There is nothing wrong with this. After all, working on your qualities is also relevant. You may even find that all your travel experiences are considered unique, so you still stand out among all the applicants.

Customized resume

Personalize your resume and cover letter by company. Consider customizing the design to match the corporate identity of the particular organization. In addition, it is wise to include only relevant work experience on your resume. A job as a shelf stacker at a supermarket fifteen years ago may not be very relevant when applying for marketing manager.  

Write a cover letter based on the company you are applying to. This shows that you have studied yourself well and understand what is expected of you. At the same time, you exude enthusiasm to work for the company and prove that you are a good match for the position.  

What we want to give you with this article?

Be honest, because honesty pays in the long run. You may not stand out now for a specific job or may ask for less salary than wanted, but eventually a job that suits you will come your way.  

Have a question or are you looking for a job? Feel free to contact us!

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