A resume is an important document that job seekers use to market themselves. An employer is often interested in a job seeker’s skills and the value they will bring to the company. So, the resume needs to be well organized and outline the strong points of an employee. Job shadowing is one of the options…
The job market has become extremely competitive making job seekers do whatever it takes to get ahead of others. It is a natural survival tactic to want to outshine others. This is why padding resumes have become a normal thing. People want to get jobs and are willing to do whatever it takes.
What about if you are caught padding a resume? Are you aware of the consequences? Well, you don’t have to worry about all that if you can understand how to pad a resume in a professional manner without lying. Since the padding is a serious professional mistake, we will give you a free guide on how to pad a resume and how to create a kickass resume.
Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash
What Does it Mean to Pad Out a Resume?
Resume padding is simply adding false information or exaggerating information on your resume to enhance its credibility for a job. Most padding often goes unnoticed. But you should be alarmed at a staggering 69% of employers who reported padding on resumes in 2010. Therefore, you need to understand the basics of padding to be able to know how to do it right.
Since resumes are the common tools that employers use to scrutinize potential candidates for a position, it becomes apparent that people have to do whatever it takes to outshine others. A resume has various sections including objectives, education, experience, and skills. For one to lie, they have to choose an area that is important for their candidature.
Most HR firms report that the education section is the one that attracts the most lies. Some candidates also exaggerate the set of skills that they have and work experience.
Resume padding is prominent in all levels of employment. Front-line employees are the ones that record the highest number of padding. The main motivation of enhancing a resume is to increase the chances of being hired.
In a competitive job market, adding some white lie is common and people don’t feel bad for cheating. But there is unintentional padding caused by a writing error. For example, instead of writing a GPA of 3.09, you can write 3.90.
Is it Okay to Pad out a Resume?
This is a tricky question because it borders on personal integrity and your chances of landing your dream job. Some people argue that it is wrong to lie. We think padding is not a bad thing if it doesn’t come out as a blatant lie.
Understanding the consequences of cheating in your qualifications might make you decide if it is okay or not. Most employers regard this practice as unethical. Hiring managers don’t like it because it deceives them. But this doesn’t stop people from adding some extra information to boost their chances.
There can never be a straight answer to this. However, when you have to pad, you’ve got to do it right so that you are not caught. Doing it right doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to lie. You can use creative ways that will boost your resume without lying. If you do it right, then it is perfectly okay.
How to Pad Your Resume: The Best Ways
As mentioned, you don’t have to lie to pad your resume. You can do it using one of the best ways. We will share some great resume padding tips that you can start using today to enhance your marketability in the job market.
Strategically leave out information
One of the best ways to pad information in a resume is by letting it out. This sounds like a misnomer because padding is all about adding information yet we are recommending that you don’t include some information. Take the example of a candidate who has a GPA of 2.5. Such a person has the option of changing the GPA to above 3.4 or simply not adding that information.
If you choose to leave it out, it won’t become conspicuous. However, if you change it, you can be asked to account for it with certification, just to find out that you cheated.
Add volunteer skills
This might be an extra addition to a resume but a necessary one. Volunteering is a special skill that can be useful in adding more experience to your work. If you have traveled abroad for a volunteer mission, you can add it and it will show that you have earned two things i.e. experience and multiculturalism.
Add advanced learning opportunities
Depending on the job that you are applying for, there could be some advanced learning opportunities that you have. This is a useful way to add more weight to your resume if you don’t have enough experience. Taking extra classes makes you more attractive to potential employers, more especially if the classes were tailored to meet the dynamic demand of the job market.
Quantify your skills
You should not just list the skills that you have but add figures that help to quantify them. Ask yourself how many people you have led, how much money have you handled, and what are the results that you got? When you answer these questions, you will be padding your resume without lying.
Include skills that show you are tech-savvy
Your resume should have a skills section. It should readily show the number of skills that you have. You need to highlight all the relevant skills that you have. For example, if you are good at Microsoft Excel, you should highlight it because it helps your potential employer know how they can use your services if you get hired. It also gives you an edge over other candidates who don’t have such qualifications.
Diversify list of skills
You should not just focus on a similar set of skills. You should diversify them to make you more marketable.
Photo created by AndrewLozovyi
How to Pad a Resume: The Worst Ways
Some padded resumes can’t convince the selection panel; either because they look like an obvious lie or they are not well explained. Candidates make costly mistakes. Here are the things you should avoid if you want to pad your resume nicely.
Listing skills that you cannot back up
When you are deciding the list of skills that you are adding to your resume, don’t add ones that you can find evidence for. It might come out during the interview and you will be stuck and probably lose the job opening.
Also read: How to list SAT scores on a resume.
Adding more than 5 bullet points in each section
If you want to know how to pad your resume, you need to know what should be added and what should be left out. As a rule, don’t add more than five bullet points per section. It automatically raises eyebrows and employers will think you are intentionally padding it.
Making your resume longer than one page
It is a standard rule that your resume should be one page. When you are padding your resume, don’t add details that will add extra pages to your document. It needs to appear neat and well-thought. While on it, don’t go crazy about formatting. Just maintain simplicity as employers are attracted to a simple and organized resume.
How Do I Pad My Resume Without Lying?
You don’t have to lie to have a padded resume. There are some tricks that you can use, which will show you how to pad a resume without lying.
Exaggerate job experiences
Use sophisticated language to describe your job experiences. Check out these examples that can increase your marketability:
|Common word||Exaggerated phrase to be used|
|Waiter||Client relationship manager|
|Lifeguard||Health and safety supervisor|
Quantify your experience
Be as specific as possible to show your potential employer what you have achieved. It is important to mention numbers. Only do so when the numbers are in your favor e.g. led a 150% turnover in the first quarter.
Be descriptive and creative
Your resume should be creative. An amazing way is to use uncommon action verbs that describe your experience and educational background. Instead of saying that you “worked”, you can talk about a precise thing that you did e.g. you “coordinated, directed, or led.” This will improve the overall acceptance of the resume.
That is how easy it is to pad your resume without lying and stand a chance of getting the job that you are applying for.
Also read: Reviews of the top resume writers.
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