A strong resume is essential for obtaining a good position. But, the same tool that secures a job could also sabotage it. Successful candidates have had their positions and, much more gravely, their credibility jeopardized by inaccuracies or uncited content. Whether it raises flags that keep you from being considered, or crumbles under scrutiny once an offer has been made, don’t let your professional trajectory be derailed by an inaccurate CV. While some errors are expressions of intentional fraud, the majority are the unfortunate result of carelessness. Here are two vital practices to keep you from falling into this trap:
Keep an appendix. You should be able to substantiate any fact on your resume if asked. Assist yourself in this task by keeping a personal appendix that includes details of dates of employment, references to supervisors, publication details, copies of transcripts, and other supporting documentation. Keep this reference for your own personal use and update it in tandem with your resume. By having this on-hand, you’ll be able to quickly and easily provide verification as needed.
Carefully cut and copy. All resumes evolve over time as we revise and supplement them. The process allows us to have the most up-to-date reflection of our skills and accomplishments; however if care is not taken, citations can be removed or details blurred. An individual in my area was recently caught in a scandal when part of their educational philosophy was shown to be drawn from an editorial. It’s easy to get caught up in a copy-and-paste frenzy. While it may seem expedient, don’t allow your resume to become a Frankenstein of your words and others.
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