There are countless strategies for scoring the perfect job as well as some gravely wrong ones. Promise yourself that you will never do what you see on this list, even if you are desperate. The following may not necessarily get you thrown in the slammer, but they will get you blacklisted in a heartbeat or immediately fired when you are found out.
Offense No. 1: Fabricate sections of your life. Make up jobs that sound good on your résumé. Give yourself really impressive titles. List fake degrees and false skills. Fill in all employment gaps. Double your salary histories on applications.
Rule: Do NOT lie on your resume. At all. Heart racing and palms sweating, onceyou are hired you will need to demonstrate abilities you don’t have. Besides, you don’t want all of that deceit on your conscience.
Offense No. 2: Post incriminating photos on your MySpace and Facebook accounts. Make sure they include excessive intoxication, nudity, and anything lewd. Use profanity on your wall.
Rule: Only put pictures on the internet that you want the entire world to see. Since you probably log onto your account from the privacy of your own home, you may not realize that hoards of people are dying to catch a glimpse of your prized “11 Kegs in 11 Days Spring Break Album.” These days, it is commonplace that employers and colleges check these sources.
Offense No.3: Change the GPA on your transcript. Use photocopiers, white out and anything creative. There are so many grades and numbers on your transcript; you only need to change the cumulative grade point average. Be sure to make it above 3.5.
Rule: If a company wants to see your transcript, they mean business. They do their homework; they don’t just take your charming interview at face value. This is in the realm of creating a fake ID. Messing with official documents is a major no-no.
Offense No. 4: Cross all boundary lines (stalking, bribery, threats & blackmail). Try to get the job at all costs. Find your interviewer’s home phone number in the yellow pages and leave multiple messages until your call is returned. Send flowers and candy or anything bribe-like. At the end of the interview, allude to the fact that you might try to get your potential boss fired so that you can move up the ladder quickly. Say that you have “sources” that know “things” about unscrupulous acts that this company “might” be performing.
Rule: Be normal and relax. If you go the “boundary line crossing route” you will be sent to a mental institution or get arrested. Word will travel quickly about you, the wild-eyed no-holds-barred job seeking lunatic.
Worst Offense No. 5: Write your own letters of recommendation and sign them. Write about your winning personality, overachieving drive, your team spirit, and how you are #1 at everything.
Rule: Ask old bosses for permission to write the letters first! Often times previous employers will even ask you to write your own letter of recommendation and then they will proofread and sign it. You don’t need to lie here.
Offense No. 6: Have your friends pose as professional references. List them as previous employers and ask them to disguise their voices and talk about how you should be hired right on the spot.
Rule: You will be caught and they will be caught. Your friends will not be on guard at all moments and will need to make up giant lies as various questions come flying at them. Guaranteed. Be kind to your friends: don’t get them into trouble.
The bottom line: Play by the rules. Do these offenses sound ridiculous? The shocker is that some people actually do these things. Hopefully, just reading this list of worst offenses made you sick to your stomach. You would be living so many lies that you would drown under the weight of keeping them all straight. You would get caught at some point. There is a job out there just waiting for you, the real you. Never forget: Honesty, integrity and peace of mind are far more important than any job. If that’s not enough for you, remember that it’s hard to job search behind bars.
Julie Lancaster has been employed with CollegeAmerica Flagstaff since 2005 and has served in the roles of associate professor, career services adviser, career services director, and dean of education. She holds a Master’s degree in Education with a focus on culture, language and diversity. She teaches Psychology of Motivation, Communication Arts, Introduction to Logic, English Composition, and Professional Development and Employment Techniques. She boasts that she can critique a resume in three seconds.