Honesty is Nurse PolicyIt’s National Nurses Week and this year’s theme is, “Ethical Practice. Quality Care.”  If there’s a nurse in your life, this title should ring true. According to a 2014 Gallup poll*, Americans have rated nursing as the top profession for high ethical standards and honesty. In fact, nurses have topped the list for the last 13 years!
Unfortunately, not everyone is as truthful as nurses – especially when it comes to writing a resume. Here are some examples of times when stretching the truth can take your application materials from ethically healthy to needing some emergency care:
Job Titles
‘What’s in a name?’ can be a dangerous question to ask when preparing your resume. Suddenly, that ‘coordinator’ position in your work history is updated to ‘supervisor,’ because what’s the harm? Not only can this type of alteration be misrepresentative, but it’s also easily verified through a background check.
In truth, a position usually consists of more than what its title can explain.  For example, your title might be “HR Coordinator,” but your responsibilities include a mix of accounting, internal communications and event planning. Instead of giving yourself a new title, make sure to include all of the varied duties associated with your previous role in order to give employers the full picture.
Employment Dates
Depending on your career path, your resume may contain a few gaps in time in which you were not working. Applicants frightened of leaving an unsightly hole in their history may be tempted to adjust their start and end dates to appear consistently professionally active.
Instead of literally making up for lost time, embrace your gaps! Consider any personal projects, volunteer work or other ways you have been productive and gained skills during this time. Highlighting these types of examples shows a commitment to self-improvement and personal growth.
That degree from “Fake State University” might get you a foot in the door, but employers can easily connect with educators to learn the truth. In addition, many employers are investing in further education for their employees. A lie early in your career could come back to haunt you as these opportunities arise.
Rather than fabricating your school records, do whatever you can to gain the knowledge necessary for the desired role. If you are actively learning or enrolled in a class during the application process, it could reflect positively on you.
The next time you’re tempted to lie on your resume, remember to think like a nurse! Can you think of any other common resume lies? Post them in the comment box below!

*Gallup, December 18, 2014
Americans Rate Nurses Highest on Honesty, Ethical Standards