I’m discovering that more and more companies are checking (or paying a third party to check/verify) the following main categories on your resume and/or application. My advice is to double check everything on your resume before your next resume posting/resume submission to save yourself some potential headaches.
- Start and End dates of each and every job listed: If you were a temp/contractor at first and then converted to full time, you might want to indicate that in some way on your resume b/c results will likely only cover you when fully employed. The key is not to get busted for fudging start/end dates. Take the time to check your records as it’s not worth getting turned down b/c you come across as dishonest. Also, the months should be included as well or it could look like you’re trying to hide short tenures.
- Education details: It should be crystal clear if you graduated or not when somebody reads your resume b/c education verification is quite common these days. If it even looks like you’re implying that you obtained a degree, certification, etc. in any way but you never actually earned the degree/certificate, you’re potentially toast. Also, make sure your degree nomenclature is accurate. For example, if you got a degree in Computer Information Systems and you list Computer Science, it’s simply not going to fly and will not be digested well at the other end.
- Job Titles: Simply include official titles unless they are inherently confusing and a functional title would more accurately describe your role. For example, Sr. Software Engineer or Senior .NET Developer versus a some formal company title like Programmer Analyst Level III. Admittedly I’ve never had an issue with somebody listing a ‘functional’ title alternative for added clarification as long as it’s functionally and technically valid. What you want to avoid is listing a title that is too much of a stretch during the employment verification process.
While we’re on the topic of verifications, background checks (Criminal, Civil and National) are very common these days. If asked ahead of time if you’ll have any problems passing a background check, I recommend full disclosure of anything that might come up b/c it’s better to address things at the front end so you can explain/clarify context if appropriate. For example, if you have a DUI just fess up as they are going to find out anyway – the good news is that many times employers are not necessarily going to give you the boot as it all depends on the role and the discretion of the person entrusted with the results.
TAKE AWAY – Don’t push the envelope on any of these topics as it’s just not worth it. Do the leg work to make sure your resume reflects the facts. See the following links for more resume advice.