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If you Wear a Kimono to an Interview, Open it

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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  • Buzz Rooney

    We’ve all come to expect some embellishment on resumes. Finding a creative, atrractive way to explain a not so glamorous task performed isn’t a big deal. Saying you did something you’ve never done is a different story. That’s the line for me personally and the people I interview. And it is on the interviewer to delve deep into the resume line items to make sure the person did what they said they did. Otherwise, suck it up — you got played *shrug* It happens.

  • Anonymous

    i think you’re right. it’s the recruiter’s responsibility to design a sourcing, search, and interview process that throws the bad apples out. i wonder if there would be fewer bad apples, though, if recruiters were more candid in their approach?!?! thanks for the comment, buzz.

  • roshanivahora

    It is very sad part of our life that with a prestigious inst like IIM -A also see the casteism among the students. Govt should immediately stop giving aid to such Inst whose glittering students are speaking like Gujju., Murus, etc. shame to all of u…….
    c ampus Recruitment Company | Job Placement Agencies

  • Margo Rose

    Dude, I love your work. That is all. You put the “H” honor and human back in human resources, and you make me laugh. Big ups and hugs.

    Margo Rose

  • Anonymous

    thanks, my dear margo, for your endorsement. hope to see you in the new year!