If you Wear a Kimono to an Interview, Open it | HR Fishbowl

There’s a pretty interesting discussion brewing over on Focus right now around drawing the boundaries for what’s acceptable and unacceptable when it comes to “bending the truth” on one’s resume.

First the hardliners took the easy stance: “It’s never permissible…completely unacceptable…destroys integrity.” Then the wise guys stepped in to debate semantics: ‘embellish’ vs. ‘bend the truth’ vs. ‘flat out lie.’ It depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is. The pragmatists make an appearance: “It’s wrong, but it happens and it’s probably unavoidable.” But the party gets pretty interesting when a couple of my favorite pot stirrers show up. One basically calls everyone a bunch of self-righteous hypocrites: he aptly points out that Employers are notoriously guilty for omitting the truth and puttin’ up all sorts of smoke and mirrors when it comes to selling themselves to candidates. I gotta tell you, I have a hard time arguing with that…sad to say, I know. Another one of the Gremlin’s – a well known and highly respected recruiter – essentially told us all to wake up and smell the coffee.  And he uses a classic reference to first dates and marriage and passing gas to make his point…absolutely classic.

You wanna know my stance on this? Like I really care…Imma tell you anyway.

  • Open the Kimono, dear employer. It’s time we start giving prospective candidates the real deal juicy info on what it’s like to work there – good, bad, ugly. Your candor will scare some away…sure. But it will also attract those who are really best suited for your gig. And because you’ll no longer be kidding the public, you’ll stop kidding yourselves; that might even bring you to look the bad and the ugly squarely in the eyes and do something about it.
  • Open the Kimono, dear candidate. Just once I’d like to see a resume that not only highlights your lofty accomplishments and heroic contributions, but also portrays you as the human being you are. You put on your pants one leg at a time like the rest of us.  And you have some shortcomings. Why don’t we expect resumes to reflect that level of introspection? It doesn’t make you less qualified; it just makes you more human.

And just to be clear: no one can advise you on how far you can go with bending the truth on your resume. Only your conscience can do that.

Image Credit: Zazzle

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