When writing your resume, it’s fairly normal to feel disappointed with the way that your work history, or academic accomplishments appear. No matter how many of either you have to add, the anxiety of searching for a new job can make you feel as though your resume just doesn’t measure up. So many people choose to ‘pad’ their resumes, to make a more respectable document, more likely to garner the attention of potential employers. But more often than not, that’s a very bad idea.
In case you didn’t know the term, padding your resume refers to adding accolades that aren’t true about yourself. Whether it be false work history items, or false educational accomplishments, or even dishonest community contributions. All are considered padding, and are wrong in the sense that you are being dishonest to companies that you are trying to attract. Nothing really sets you on the wrong foot with a new company more than them discovering you lied in order to get the job.
Which is why if you are unhappy about how something appears on your resume, you should take advantage of explaining yourself in your cover letter. If you don’t like a particular gap in your employment history, you have ample opportunity to put a positive spin on things through your cover letter. The same with anything else you feel uncomfortable about, whether it be education, etc.
But mainly, padding is bad because it sets a bad precedent for your new job. Even if you get the job, you’re not presenting yourself correctly. That puts you and your company in an awkward position, as tasks you don’t have the skill to accomplish may be expected of you, and your new company is getting an employee that doesn’t have the skill set expected of them. If it’s found out you lied on your resume, most places won’t hesitate to terminate you immediately, so that little bit of padding can really come back to bite you.
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