Individuals looking for employment need to be honest with the recruiters they are going to for help. All recruiters will ask why you left past employers. Just be honest and talk about it. Most recruiters, HR people, and hiring managers understand layoffs. Describe the situation in a way that’s most beneficial to you. 30-50% of your group being laid off is significantly different from 5%. If you were the sole person laid off in your group, that is not a layoff. Surviving multiple layoffs and getting caught in a third or forth is something to point out to the interviewer.
Lying on your resume or during the interview process is a major mistake, especially in the age of information, where most information is verifiable. Don’t exaggerate your resume with information that has no truth behind it. Seasoned recruiters and hiring managers will find out and they will follow up with questions. Even if you don’t like what the recruiter has to say, be patient, because they are just trying to help you. Do not burn these important bridges by lying or purposely misleading recruiters. You will be most successful in your job search if you listen to what your recruiter has to say. They normally know more about the client at hand than you.
Biggest mistake: telling lies in an interview. All of the below have been used for years. You aren’t the first.
The Education Lies
- “I had all the credits, I just didn’t graduate.” If you have the credits, you have the degree.
- “I did all the classes, I just need to pay the fees to graduate.” Who would take the time and spend the money to attend and complete a college degree and then not graduate because of fees. It’s an unbelievable story.
- “I graduated from X but it was a long time ago, I don’t know why they can’t verify my degree.” Degrees are verifiable.
The No-Show Interview Lies
- “My car broke down.” If your car does break down, make a call and reschedule. There is no excuse for not showing up.
- “I couldn’t find your location.” Researching the location is one of many things you need to accomplish during your interview preparation. Everyone with a smart phone has a map.
The Termination Lies
- “It was a mutual decision that I left.” It is assumed that you resigned because you were going to be terminated. Break-ups are always initiated by one side. If the job wasn’t a fit for you, state that and explain the specifics. An A-player at one company can be a C-player at another. Success is a by-product of many things.
- “I was in a bad accident and they fired me for not showing up to work.” Bad accidents are written up. This can always be corroborated. Make sure it happened and you notified your employer if you make this claim.
- “I didn’t like the people I worked with.” This might be true, but it is never appropriate to bad mouth a former employer or co-worker. The person sitting in the interviewer chair doesn’t want someone to bad mouth them. You don’t want to give the impression that that is your character.