In one CareerBuilder survey, 72 percent of employers said that they performed background checks on job candidates. Sixty-two percent of those who did background checks said that they verified employment history. Lie about your experience, and you’re just a phone call away from losing the offer.
The good news is that you don’t need to lie in order to show that you’re the best person for the job. By presenting your real experience and skills in a positive light, you can persuade the hiring manager to give you a chance.
1. Focus on the Problem, and Prove You Can Solve It
Hiring managers may have a perfect candidate in mind … but if they’re sensible, they also know that they’re not always going to find them. You can show that you’re the next best thing if you can determine the major issue they’re hiring to solve, and then show that you’re the person to solve it.
For example, maybe they’re trying to raise sales, and your previous sales record shows that you can do that (even if you need to learn new software in the process). Or maybe you have management experience in another, seemingly unrelated job, but can show that it’s transferable to this new opportunity.
Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. What would you be looking for in a candidate? Then, emphasize those skills and abilities.
2. Be Selective With Your Experience
Your resume isn’t your biography; you don’t need to include every job you’ve ever had, especially if your career path has zigged and zagged somewhat over the years.
It’s not lying to omit unrelated jobs so that your relevant experience stands out. Just don’t give in to the temptation to tinker with dates of employment or job titles, both of which are easily verifiable during a reference and background check.
3. Lead With Your Skills
Does your resume still start with an objective? If so, it might be time to consider an upgrade. A profile statement can show off your skills right at the top of the page, where even busy hiring managers are most likely to see them.
Profile statements also give you the opportunity to showcase keywords from the job description, which might help you get your resume past the applicant tracking system and in front of a real human being.
Tell Us What You Really Think
What’s the best change you’ve ever made to your resume? We want to hear from you. Tell us your thoughts in the comments or come talk to us on Twitter.