3652371778_171a806ea8_bLet’s face it – the job market has pretty much hit rock bottom. If you’re out there on the career hunt, you know that legitimate open positions are few and far between – it’s less about who you are and more about who you know. A personal referral, having an ‘in’ -  can go a long way. As you scour the Career Builder and Craigslist postings, every once in a (great) while you’ll run across a dream job, that one position that you’ve got to have. Odds are, there are a lot of other people thinking the same exact thing. The result: An employer flooded with resumes and cover letter’s not knowing where to begin.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

The economic wasteland we find ourselves has me thinking, and many of you as well. How far would you go to get the job of your dreams? Would you lie? Would you cheat? Would you misrepresent yourself and provide false information? Would you fake your references, having a buddy pose as a former supervisor to ensure a ‘glowing’ recommendation? Would you lie about your GPA or the degree you received? Where do you draw the line? How far are you willing to go to stand out from the rest?

My take in one word? Karma. What goes around comes around – but it goes beyond that. If you’re interviewing for a position, dream job or otherwise, when you represent yourself as something you’re not, the company is falling for a lie – they aren’t interested in the real you. Personally, I don’t want to work for someone who does not like, or at least value me for me. You can try to be someone you’re not, but you will benefit more by letting others see the real you. If the real you isn’t a fit, it’s better to get that established from the onset and move on.

Something to remember: No matter how desperate your situation may seem, there will always be other opportunities (eventually). Looking for a job IS a full time job, and it can be extremely overwhelming in the current market. With that said, don’t get yourself into a bad position before you even agree to an offer. Impressing a company with lies will almost (if not always) lead to a negative outcome. And remember, the company you want to work for, that ‘dream job’, will appreciate and want the real you.

What do you think?

I want to leave this open-ended for discussion in the comments below. This is somewhat of a sensitive issue as no one wants to harm their reputation by admitting to lying or condoning dishonesty. But I encourage you to take a step back and share your honest insight. If you’re more comfortable responding anonymously, please feel free. Some thoughts to consider:

  • How far are you willing to go to land your dream job?
  • What role does morality play in your career pursuits?
  • How do you toe the fine line between providing false information and ‘leaving out’ details?
  • What do you lose (or gain) by sacrificing your integrity?

(Image courtesy Kolby Schnelli)

Join the conversation! 70 Comments

  1. It makes for a pretty good discussion. As far as I’m concerned I would like to think I would never sacrifice my integrity for a ‘dream job.’ That said we had a really interesting discussion in one of my classes in college about the steroid era. IF you knew 85% of the clubhouse was taking roids, the overwhelming majority of the guys in the minors, etc. and 5 more home runs was the difference in you feeding your family, would you succumb to ‘cheating’ and take the roids? That’s when the line starts getting pretty blurry. I’m fortunate I’ve never been in a situation like that. I also can’t begin to judge others with families and other such circumstances, but I’d love to hear from those in those situations. I think it’s easy to say we’d never, but when your child is hungry… Does never change?

    AND I sincerely doubt I’ll ever go further than the borders of Texas to find my dream job again :)

    R

    Reply
    • The ‘right’ answer here would be ‘No, never means never’ – but I think you and I both know that isn’t the case. Imagine if YOU were in that situation of desperation – would your family and personal well-being be more important than your overall public reputation. The answer is most likely yes. So transitioning this over the the career search – the question is, how desperate do you have to be to sacrafice your integrity and falsify information about who you are in order to win everyone over and stand out above the rest?

      I personally believe that the ‘formal’ interview process is somewhat flawed and it doesn’t allow an interviewer to get to know the real you. It’s sort of like a ‘game’ that you prepare for. You study up on the company, you prepare for possible questions, you do what you have to do to look good for those 60 minutes. But it takes much more to really get to know who a person is and what they can offer you.

      What’s the answer? I’m not sure. Getting back to the point, I am a firm believer in honesty. I do everything I can to be 100% myself during an interview, because, as I said, if someone does not like me for me, is it even really worth it in the first place. No, probably not.

      Reply
  2. It makes for a pretty good discussion. As far as I’m concerned I would like to think I would never sacrifice my integrity for a ‘dream job.’ That said we had a really interesting discussion in one of my classes in college about the steroid era. IF you knew 85% of the clubhouse was taking roids, the overwhelming majority of the guys in the minors, etc. and 5 more home runs was the difference in you feeding your family, would you succumb to ‘cheating’ and take the roids? That’s when the line starts getting pretty blurry. I’m fortunate I’ve never been in a situation like that. I also can’t begin to judge others with families and other such circumstances, but I’d love to hear from those in those situations. I think it’s easy to say we’d never, but when your child is hungry… Does never change?

    AND I sincerely doubt I’ll ever go further than the borders of Texas to find my dream job again :)

    R

    Reply
    • The ‘right’ answer here would be ‘No, never means never’ – but I think you and I both know that isn’t the case. Imagine if YOU were in that situation of desperation – would your family and personal well-being be more important than your overall public reputation. The answer is most likely yes. So transitioning this over the the career search – the question is, how desperate do you have to be to sacrafice your integrity and falsify information about who you are in order to win everyone over and stand out above the rest?

      I personally believe that the ‘formal’ interview process is somewhat flawed and it doesn’t allow an interviewer to get to know the real you. It’s sort of like a ‘game’ that you prepare for. You study up on the company, you prepare for possible questions, you do what you have to do to look good for those 60 minutes. But it takes much more to really get to know who a person is and what they can offer you.

      What’s the answer? I’m not sure. Getting back to the point, I am a firm believer in honesty. I do everything I can to be 100% myself during an interview, because, as I said, if someone does not like me for me, is it even really worth it in the first place. No, probably not.

      Reply
  3. Matt:

    I am sure this’ll spark a major debate here. Nicely written article.

    As I told you on Twitter, I think its okay to lie in resume. I’ve been in the industry for 8 yrs and I have seen all type of ppl. I have applied to many jobs and have been selected for few of them. I have seen my friends and other ppl who lie in their resumes and selected for the jobs. I used to think it’s wrong and they are not presenting real themselves, as you said here. But after being in various companies at various levels, I think it’s fair to do so.

    If you know the interview cycle and how it works, you would understand what I mean. Most of the companies post very wide job requirements. Hundreds of job seekers apply for the position. As these companies have softwares which runs and search applicants’ resumes based on key words, only few of them receive interview notice. And here I believe its okay to lie just to bypass the software search and get an interview letter. No matter how good you are or how many years of experience you have, without an interview notice you don’t have a chance to present yourself.

    For an example, most of the companies have standard criteria for all the positions. For an entry level, you need good internship experience. For junior level, you should at least have 2-3 yrs of experience. For a manager, you should have 5 years of experience. For a dept director, you should have 8-9 yrs of experience. For a vice president, you should have 12-14 yrs of experience. For a CEO, you should have 15-18 years of experience. You got my point! When a person who has 4 yrs of experience working in various companies but does not have required 5 yrs of experience for a manager’s position, his resume won’t be selected for the interview. Without an interview, he won’t have a chance to explain how good he is for the position and how he can fulfill all other requirements. Here I believe its okay to lie and tweak your resume and show your 1 yr of internship as full time experience, just to select for the interview. Once you have an interview, it’s up to the interviewer to select the best out of many. If you can convince him and show him you are the best for the position, you’ll be selected. Most of the interviewers do not go in details about the job experience or other criteria. Even after you have a job by tweaking your resume a little bit, there are many ways companies can find out whether they have selected the right candidate or not. At any level if they feel it’s a wrong decision, you’ll be fired. At any level if you won’t be at par with companies’ expectation, you’ll be out. But if you had not changed your resume abit and landed an interview, you won’t go that far. And that’s why I think its okay to do so.

    And this is nothing about being someone who you are not or losing your integrity. That’s all together different ballpark. All I am saying is its okay to change your resume just to be selected for the interview. How good you are at particular position or how many yrs of experience you have, without an interview you cannot show your caliber to the company and ultimately you’ll be at the losing end, not the company.

    Cheers,
    Pritesh
    http://twitter.com/mehta1p

    Reply
    • I see what you are saying Pritesh, but I think you are walking a delicate fine line here. I don’t believe it is OK to lie on your resume. If the company ever finds out you gave them false information – you’re gone. What I do agree with, and what I think is the overall point of your response, is that it is OK to ‘highlight’ or embellish a particular job title/responsibility. For example – back in the day when I was still in the retail world, instead of putting ‘Cashier’ on a resume, I would put ‘Customer Service Representative’. With that I would ‘sex up’ my responsibilities to make them sound more important than ‘run a cash register’. You want to highlight your assets as much as possible. In this regard, I think it is OK to exaggerate a bit, but when you make up experience, job history, or educational background, you can run into some trouble down the line.

      Reply
  4. Matt:

    I am sure this’ll spark a major debate here. Nicely written article.

    As I told you on Twitter, I think its okay to lie in resume. I’ve been in the industry for 8 yrs and I have seen all type of ppl. I have applied to many jobs and have been selected for few of them. I have seen my friends and other ppl who lie in their resumes and selected for the jobs. I used to think it’s wrong and they are not presenting real themselves, as you said here. But after being in various companies at various levels, I think it’s fair to do so.

    If you know the interview cycle and how it works, you would understand what I mean. Most of the companies post very wide job requirements. Hundreds of job seekers apply for the position. As these companies have softwares which runs and search applicants’ resumes based on key words, only few of them receive interview notice. And here I believe its okay to lie just to bypass the software search and get an interview letter. No matter how good you are or how many years of experience you have, without an interview notice you don’t have a chance to present yourself.

    For an example, most of the companies have standard criteria for all the positions. For an entry level, you need good internship experience. For junior level, you should at least have 2-3 yrs of experience. For a manager, you should have 5 years of experience. For a dept director, you should have 8-9 yrs of experience. For a vice president, you should have 12-14 yrs of experience. For a CEO, you should have 15-18 years of experience. You got my point! When a person who has 4 yrs of experience working in various companies but does not have required 5 yrs of experience for a manager’s position, his resume won’t be selected for the interview. Without an interview, he won’t have a chance to explain how good he is for the position and how he can fulfill all other requirements. Here I believe its okay to lie and tweak your resume and show your 1 yr of internship as full time experience, just to select for the interview. Once you have an interview, it’s up to the interviewer to select the best out of many. If you can convince him and show him you are the best for the position, you’ll be selected. Most of the interviewers do not go in details about the job experience or other criteria. Even after you have a job by tweaking your resume a little bit, there are many ways companies can find out whether they have selected the right candidate or not. At any level if they feel it’s a wrong decision, you’ll be fired. At any level if you won’t be at par with companies’ expectation, you’ll be out. But if you had not changed your resume abit and landed an interview, you won’t go that far. And that’s why I think its okay to do so.

    And this is nothing about being someone who you are not or losing your integrity. That’s all together different ballpark. All I am saying is its okay to change your resume just to be selected for the interview. How good you are at particular position or how many yrs of experience you have, without an interview you cannot show your caliber to the company and ultimately you’ll be at the losing end, not the company.

    Cheers,
    Pritesh
    http://twitter.com/mehta1p

    Reply
    • I see what you are saying Pritesh, but I think you are walking a delicate fine line here. I don’t believe it is OK to lie on your resume. If the company ever finds out you gave them false information – you’re gone. What I do agree with, and what I think is the overall point of your response, is that it is OK to ‘highlight’ or embellish a particular job title/responsibility. For example – back in the day when I was still in the retail world, instead of putting ‘Cashier’ on a resume, I would put ‘Customer Service Representative’. With that I would ‘sex up’ my responsibilities to make them sound more important than ‘run a cash register’. You want to highlight your assets as much as possible. In this regard, I think it is OK to exaggerate a bit, but when you make up experience, job history, or educational background, you can run into some trouble down the line.

      Reply
  5. First of all, I’m digging the new background here on life without pants.

    Since I was recently in this position about a month ago, I definitely know the feeling thinking there has to be something I can do to get a leg up on everyone else and put myself in a better position. But, in the end, if you go into the interview and answer all the questions exactly how they want you to answer them and try to act exactly like who you think they are looking for as their candidate you will first of all end up blending in with everyone else who is trying to do this exact same thing, and second of all, set yourself up to fall short of their expectations (who said you can’t use run-on sentences!). You can act like someone you’re not all you want in the interview, but if they end up going with you, sooner or later they’re going to find out the “real” you.

    Also, I think that if you just go in and be the real you it takes a heck of a lot of pressure off. When you’re trying to fit the mold, you’re so worried about meeting their expectations that you put an unnecessary burden on yourself. Whereas if you go in there and just show them the real you, it’s just like talking to someone over lunch. And then, if you don’t get the job, you know that you weren’t the right fit, so you probably wouldn’t have liked it.

    Reply
    • Jackie – you and I share in the same rationale. When you are able to just be yourself, it takes a TON of pressure and stress out of the situation. When you are trying to put on an act, pretending to be someone you THINK they will like, as you said, you’re becoming one of the sheep and won’t ever stand out from the crowd. Present the best version of yourself and the rest will fall into place.

      Reply
  6. First of all, I’m digging the new background here on life without pants.

    Since I was recently in this position about a month ago, I definitely know the feeling thinking there has to be something I can do to get a leg up on everyone else and put myself in a better position. But, in the end, if you go into the interview and answer all the questions exactly how they want you to answer them and try to act exactly like who you think they are looking for as their candidate you will first of all end up blending in with everyone else who is trying to do this exact same thing, and second of all, set yourself up to fall short of their expectations (who said you can’t use run-on sentences!). You can act like someone you’re not all you want in the interview, but if they end up going with you, sooner or later they’re going to find out the “real” you.

    Also, I think that if you just go in and be the real you it takes a heck of a lot of pressure off. When you’re trying to fit the mold, you’re so worried about meeting their expectations that you put an unnecessary burden on yourself. Whereas if you go in there and just show them the real you, it’s just like talking to someone over lunch. And then, if you don’t get the job, you know that you weren’t the right fit, so you probably wouldn’t have liked it.

    Reply
    • Jackie – you and I share in the same rationale. When you are able to just be yourself, it takes a TON of pressure and stress out of the situation. When you are trying to put on an act, pretending to be someone you THINK they will like, as you said, you’re becoming one of the sheep and won’t ever stand out from the crowd. Present the best version of yourself and the rest will fall into place.

      Reply
  7. This has inspired my own blog entry. My answer: 7797.398 miles.

    To read why, read here: http://caitiehawley.com/2009/07/21/7797-398-miles/

    Reply
  8. This has inspired my own blog entry. My answer: 7797.398 miles.

    To read why, read here: http://caitiehawley.com/2009/07/21/7797-398-miles/

    Reply
  9. Matt: I know this is a particurlarly relevant post for you, and you’re definitely not alone. Karma is something I believe in as well, and it applies to all facets of life, not just the job search. You get what you give, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, etc. In my opinion, lying is a slippery slope, and a major no when it comes to the job search. Do you really want to start your new job on a foundation of false information? The thing about lying is that once you start, it’s hard to stop. You end up digging yourself deeper and deeper into a hole until you don’t know how to get out.

    As lame as it sounds, good things come to those who wait, and if you have an open mind, you might just find your “dream job” where you least expect it. Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us!

    Reply
    • Agreed Sam. I have approached interviews over the past several months from several angles – Some I have approached as putting on an ‘act’ – being who I thought they wanted to be. But then (especially lately) I’ve just been myself – I’ve seen some success, and I know that if I stay true to myself – I’ll get to where I want to be. The same can be said for all of us.

      Ryan raises a very interesting point above by asking, ‘When does the line get crossed?’ – How desperate do we have to become to sacrifice honesty and integrity? I don’t know if anyone here can answer this. Most of us are fortunate enough to have not been faced with a situation that dire. But money (or lack there of) may change your tune a bit. Thoughts?

      Reply
      • I truly believe that being yourself is the best policy. Obviously, you want to present the best version of yourself at an interview, and highlight the qualities and skills you have that would make you a great candidate for the position.

        Ryan does raise an interesting point. I consider myself very lucky to have never been in that kind of situation, so I’m only speculating. Though I don’t think it’s ever really “okay” to lie, there are some situations where it would be understandable. That said, there are a lot of factors: what kind of job it is, what you’re lying about, to what degree you’re lying, how likely it is that the lie will come back to bite you, etc. I think you’re right, there’s no one answer that any of us can provide. But, thanks for making me think!

        Reply
        • After asking this of you and Susan – I thought about it more and there really is nothing we can say here – the truth is, none of us know how we would act in desperate situations. I’d like to think that my morals would remain 100% intact. Let’s just hope we’re never faced with such unfortunate circumstances.

          Reply
  10. Matt: I know this is a particurlarly relevant post for you, and you’re definitely not alone. Karma is something I believe in as well, and it applies to all facets of life, not just the job search. You get what you give, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, etc. In my opinion, lying is a slippery slope, and a major no when it comes to the job search. Do you really want to start your new job on a foundation of false information? The thing about lying is that once you start, it’s hard to stop. You end up digging yourself deeper and deeper into a hole until you don’t know how to get out.

    As lame as it sounds, good things come to those who wait, and if you have an open mind, you might just find your “dream job” where you least expect it. Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us!

    Reply
    • Agreed Sam. I have approached interviews over the past several months from several angles – Some I have approached as putting on an ‘act’ – being who I thought they wanted to be. But then (especially lately) I’ve just been myself – I’ve seen some success, and I know that if I stay true to myself – I’ll get to where I want to be. The same can be said for all of us.

      Ryan raises a very interesting point above by asking, ‘When does the line get crossed?’ – How desperate do we have to become to sacrifice honesty and integrity? I don’t know if anyone here can answer this. Most of us are fortunate enough to have not been faced with a situation that dire. But money (or lack there of) may change your tune a bit. Thoughts?

      Reply
      • I truly believe that being yourself is the best policy. Obviously, you want to present the best version of yourself at an interview, and highlight the qualities and skills you have that would make you a great candidate for the position.

        Ryan does raise an interesting point. I consider myself very lucky to have never been in that kind of situation, so I’m only speculating. Though I don’t think it’s ever really “okay” to lie, there are some situations where it would be understandable. That said, there are a lot of factors: what kind of job it is, what you’re lying about, to what degree you’re lying, how likely it is that the lie will come back to bite you, etc. I think you’re right, there’s no one answer that any of us can provide. But, thanks for making me think!

        Reply
        • After asking this of you and Susan – I thought about it more and there really is nothing we can say here – the truth is, none of us know how we would act in desperate situations. I’d like to think that my morals would remain 100% intact. Let’s just hope we’re never faced with such unfortunate circumstances.

          Reply
  11. This is a good question Matt! I firmly believe that I want to be 100% myself, upfront and real in the interview process and when meeting my potential co-workers/boss. I don’t even know how or what I would fake and even more importantly, I WANT them to want me for who I am. If it were a new friend you were getting to know, you would want to be yourself and even if you were ‘rejected’ or the friendship didn’t work out, it’s because it wasn’t supposed to and it wasn’t aligned.

    In terms of measurement and what I would do for my dream job I would be so persistent and never give up until they told me to. I would do something different in my interview approach, I would come up with an idea for one of their clients and with firm assertion tell them why I’m the person for the job. Job searching is stressful and a full-time job, but in the end, I think you’re doing the employer and yourself a favor by being honest.

    I will say to @Pritesh’s point that I landed my job even though the requirements said MBA and 4-7 years experience in this field. I had just graduated college and although had a lot of internship/employment experience in college, that doesn’t quite count as much as the real working world and I obviously didn’t have an MBA. With that being said, I still got the job. Because I clicked with the company, with the COO, felt it was a right fit and impressed them by being myself. That may not have happened at another company–the fit was right here. Which it will often be for the job you are applying for.

    Reply
    • My belief (as is clearly yours) is that by being yourself you’ll actually have a BETTER chance of landing that ‘dream job’ – or even a job in general. Putting on an act just comes across as looking desperate for their approval. I can’t read anyone’s mind, but it is my perception that it’s more about if you personally are a fit than if you meet the ‘qualifications’. The qualifications are a benchmark, but as you have proved, it’s not all about the years of experience and higher degrees – it’s about how you carry yourself and what you present that no one else can.

      Reply
  12. This is a good question Matt! I firmly believe that I want to be 100% myself, upfront and real in the interview process and when meeting my potential co-workers/boss. I don’t even know how or what I would fake and even more importantly, I WANT them to want me for who I am. If it were a new friend you were getting to know, you would want to be yourself and even if you were ‘rejected’ or the friendship didn’t work out, it’s because it wasn’t supposed to and it wasn’t aligned.

    In terms of measurement and what I would do for my dream job I would be so persistent and never give up until they told me to. I would do something different in my interview approach, I would come up with an idea for one of their clients and with firm assertion tell them why I’m the person for the job. Job searching is stressful and a full-time job, but in the end, I think you’re doing the employer and yourself a favor by being honest.

    I will say to @Pritesh’s point that I landed my job even though the requirements said MBA and 4-7 years experience in this field. I had just graduated college and although had a lot of internship/employment experience in college, that doesn’t quite count as much as the real working world and I obviously didn’t have an MBA. With that being said, I still got the job. Because I clicked with the company, with the COO, felt it was a right fit and impressed them by being myself. That may not have happened at another company–the fit was right here. Which it will often be for the job you are applying for.

    Reply
    • My belief (as is clearly yours) is that by being yourself you’ll actually have a BETTER chance of landing that ‘dream job’ – or even a job in general. Putting on an act just comes across as looking desperate for their approval. I can’t read anyone’s mind, but it is my perception that it’s more about if you personally are a fit than if you meet the ‘qualifications’. The qualifications are a benchmark, but as you have proved, it’s not all about the years of experience and higher degrees – it’s about how you carry yourself and what you present that no one else can.

      Reply
  13. Matt: Great, great post (and awesome discussion!). How far am I willing to go? Simple answer: as far as it takes until I stop being me. I may be taking the moral high road, but that *is* who I am. Echoing some of the others who have commented, I don’t believe in being anything other than who you are because, at the end of your life, that’s all you have.

    I think a question to ask is this: Is that dream job really your dream job if it’s worth sacrificing who you are and lying, cheating, stealing? I’d bet more often than not the answer would be no. I think dream jobs are dream jobs because you have to work hard for them, because the path to them is a challenge — and sometimes that challenge means upholding your integrity and making difficult decisions, it means failing, but it means always, always being true to yourself.

    A dream job has to be a dream for you and no one else — be that the CEO of a company or working on a ranch. There are jobs — there are good jobs — and sometimes you have to take any job in order to get by…I completely understand that. But even then I don’t think you should ever be who you’re not. And this may be a completely optimistic viewpoint, but I don’t think any job is worth sacrificing yourself.

    Just throwing in my couple of cents. Great post.

    Reply
    • The short answer – no, a dream job is never a dream if you can’t be yourself. Bottom line. You could be making a ton of money in your field but if you don’t mesh well, if your company doesn’t value the real you, it will never be as good and you will never be as succesful as it could and should be (for both parties).

      I come back to the hypothetical situation Ryan brings up above. We all are people of high moral standards and character – these are the responses I expected from most (if not all) commentators. But put yourself in a more ‘desperate’ situation – imagine you are two weeks away from being completely broke, bills are piling up, you’ve maxed out all your credit cards, no one is there to support you – in a time of desperation, would you sacrifice honesty? If you could get the job if you said you had ten years of experience when you actually had four – would you lie? Would the tables turn?

      You might not even be able to answer that question – I don’t know that I can answer it myself. But in an effort to play devil’s advocate here – I think it brings up an interesting point on our willingness to throw away integrity during times of desperation.

      Reply
      • Personally I think there are too many variables to consider, even for a hypothetical situation, to say what a person might or might not do. I do think if you were in such a desperate situation, though, you wouldn’t be narrowing your focus to your dream job, but rather, maybe, any job in order to get by. And I understand that desperate times mean desperate measures and desperation leads to irrational thought and makes people do things they wouldn’t normally, but I still can’t say that I agree. It’s a curious thought, though…I certainly can’t speak for anyone else, but I do have my own personal answer.

        You sparked some great discussion here, Matt, and brought up some interesting thoughts. Thanks!

        Reply
  14. Matt: Great, great post (and awesome discussion!). How far am I willing to go? Simple answer: as far as it takes until I stop being me. I may be taking the moral high road, but that *is* who I am. Echoing some of the others who have commented, I don’t believe in being anything other than who you are because, at the end of your life, that’s all you have.

    I think a question to ask is this: Is that dream job really your dream job if it’s worth sacrificing who you are and lying, cheating, stealing? I’d bet more often than not the answer would be no. I think dream jobs are dream jobs because you have to work hard for them, because the path to them is a challenge — and sometimes that challenge means upholding your integrity and making difficult decisions, it means failing, but it means always, always being true to yourself.

    A dream job has to be a dream for you and no one else — be that the CEO of a company or working on a ranch. There are jobs — there are good jobs — and sometimes you have to take any job in order to get by…I completely understand that. But even then I don’t think you should ever be who you’re not. And this may be a completely optimistic viewpoint, but I don’t think any job is worth sacrificing yourself.

    Just throwing in my couple of cents. Great post.

    Reply
    • The short answer – no, a dream job is never a dream if you can’t be yourself. Bottom line. You could be making a ton of money in your field but if you don’t mesh well, if your company doesn’t value the real you, it will never be as good and you will never be as succesful as it could and should be (for both parties).

      I come back to the hypothetical situation Ryan brings up above. We all are people of high moral standards and character – these are the responses I expected from most (if not all) commentators. But put yourself in a more ‘desperate’ situation – imagine you are two weeks away from being completely broke, bills are piling up, you’ve maxed out all your credit cards, no one is there to support you – in a time of desperation, would you sacrifice honesty? If you could get the job if you said you had ten years of experience when you actually had four – would you lie? Would the tables turn?

      You might not even be able to answer that question – I don’t know that I can answer it myself. But in an effort to play devil’s advocate here – I think it brings up an interesting point on our willingness to throw away integrity during times of desperation.

      Reply
      • Personally I think there are too many variables to consider, even for a hypothetical situation, to say what a person might or might not do. I do think if you were in such a desperate situation, though, you wouldn’t be narrowing your focus to your dream job, but rather, maybe, any job in order to get by. And I understand that desperate times mean desperate measures and desperation leads to irrational thought and makes people do things they wouldn’t normally, but I still can’t say that I agree. It’s a curious thought, though…I certainly can’t speak for anyone else, but I do have my own personal answer.

        You sparked some great discussion here, Matt, and brought up some interesting thoughts. Thanks!

        Reply
  15. @Pritesh

    —Even after you have a job by tweaking your resume a little bit, there are many ways companies can find out whether they have selected the right candidate or not. At any level if they feel it’s a wrong decision, you’ll be fired. At any level if you won’t be at par with companies’ expectation, you’ll be out. But if you had not changed your resume abit and landed an interview, you won’t go that far. And that’s why I think its okay to do so.—

    I have to disagree with you on this point. I agree that by changing your resume you can get an interview, but that still does not sit well with me.

    If I was an employer, and hired someone who said they had an MBA, but did not, that person would be fired on the spot. Completely dishonest. There is no need for that. Case in point, everytime I interview a person who supposedly has a ‘high level’ of Spanish, and they cannot even formulate a simple sentence.

    There is a difference between – tweaking – your resume to fit the position and having a bit of literary creativity with some mundane tasks you did at your previous job. But to say that you in fact went to Harvard Law School for 2 years just to get an interview, you’d be out the door with me in a heartbeat.

    Most jobs consider experience in-lieu of a degree anyway. I have my MA in Sociolinguistics/Language Planning and Policy, but I am a PR Director. Does anything about my degree say PR? Nope, but my past experiences in jobs/volunteer work screams it, which is where I am today.

    Don’t lie about what you aren’t but instead talk up what you are. If you lie, people find out, and it won’t be pretty.

    Reply
    • Ryan. I think Pritesh was focusing more on ‘tweaking’ the minor details to fit within the job ‘requirements’ (saying you have 5 years experience when you only have 4, bumping your GPA from a 3.4 to a 3.5, etc). I don’t think any of us see it as wise to outright lie about something along the lines of having a Masters when you don’t. The bottom line, honestly is the best way to go – if you lie about ANYTHING on your resume and are caught, you can say bye bye to that brand new corner office.

      Reply
  16. @Pritesh

    —Even after you have a job by tweaking your resume a little bit, there are many ways companies can find out whether they have selected the right candidate or not. At any level if they feel it’s a wrong decision, you’ll be fired. At any level if you won’t be at par with companies’ expectation, you’ll be out. But if you had not changed your resume abit and landed an interview, you won’t go that far. And that’s why I think its okay to do so.—

    I have to disagree with you on this point. I agree that by changing your resume you can get an interview, but that still does not sit well with me.

    If I was an employer, and hired someone who said they had an MBA, but did not, that person would be fired on the spot. Completely dishonest. There is no need for that. Case in point, everytime I interview a person who supposedly has a ‘high level’ of Spanish, and they cannot even formulate a simple sentence.

    There is a difference between – tweaking – your resume to fit the position and having a bit of literary creativity with some mundane tasks you did at your previous job. But to say that you in fact went to Harvard Law School for 2 years just to get an interview, you’d be out the door with me in a heartbeat.

    Most jobs consider experience in-lieu of a degree anyway. I have my MA in Sociolinguistics/Language Planning and Policy, but I am a PR Director. Does anything about my degree say PR? Nope, but my past experiences in jobs/volunteer work screams it, which is where I am today.

    Don’t lie about what you aren’t but instead talk up what you are. If you lie, people find out, and it won’t be pretty.

    Reply
    • Ryan. I think Pritesh was focusing more on ‘tweaking’ the minor details to fit within the job ‘requirements’ (saying you have 5 years experience when you only have 4, bumping your GPA from a 3.4 to a 3.5, etc). I don’t think any of us see it as wise to outright lie about something along the lines of having a Masters when you don’t. The bottom line, honestly is the best way to go – if you lie about ANYTHING on your resume and are caught, you can say bye bye to that brand new corner office.

      Reply
  17. A very interesting discussion, and I think many of the comments are spot on when they question whether your ‘dream job’ can really be your dream job if you have to lie/pretend to be something you’re not in order to get it. On the other hand… there are many different aspects to your dream job, and particularly when you’re very junior, just out of university and starting out, I think most people are still sussing out who they are and what their dream job might be. How do you find out if you can’t get a foot in the door?

    In the first few years of my professional life, ok I never lied on my resumes, but I did feel I had to pretend to be something I wasn’t in terms of personality and values in order to get and keep my job. I also had to pretend i was more confident and competent than I felt – a very common experience amongst juniors in many fields of work. Its not just about getting the right qualifications and putting them on your resume, its also about what they imply you can do when maybe you can’t just yet. I hated it and felt very conflicted… I loved the work I did, but I didn’t fit in with the professional culture that dominated that sector. It was rubbish, but it was necessary to get the level of skill and experience I needed to be able to move on into the job I’m in now, which really is my dream job. In the short-term of those first few years, sacrificing my integrity put an emotional strain on me that was not pleasant, stressed me, depressed me and made me question everything I was doing. I would not recommend it to anyone. But in the longer term, its allowed me to do what I want to do, and make a difference in the world. So maybe it was worth it? Lying is a risky thing to do that goes too far in most cases, but a bit of pretending can be necessary sometimes?

    Reply
    • I agree that pretending is inevitable at times – putting on somewhat of an act to fit within the company culture – I have been guilty of this as well. With the job I am referencing, I look back to where it all began, and from the beginning, I wasn’t myself – I was what I thought they wanted me to be in the interview, and then I had to live up to that once I was hired. It never really worked out and it only got worse. The experience taught me, first hand, the importance of being yourself and being accepted by a company who values the REAL you.

      Reply
  18. A very interesting discussion, and I think many of the comments are spot on when they question whether your ‘dream job’ can really be your dream job if you have to lie/pretend to be something you’re not in order to get it. On the other hand… there are many different aspects to your dream job, and particularly when you’re very junior, just out of university and starting out, I think most people are still sussing out who they are and what their dream job might be. How do you find out if you can’t get a foot in the door?

    In the first few years of my professional life, ok I never lied on my resumes, but I did feel I had to pretend to be something I wasn’t in terms of personality and values in order to get and keep my job. I also had to pretend i was more confident and competent than I felt – a very common experience amongst juniors in many fields of work. Its not just about getting the right qualifications and putting them on your resume, its also about what they imply you can do when maybe you can’t just yet. I hated it and felt very conflicted… I loved the work I did, but I didn’t fit in with the professional culture that dominated that sector. It was rubbish, but it was necessary to get the level of skill and experience I needed to be able to move on into the job I’m in now, which really is my dream job. In the short-term of those first few years, sacrificing my integrity put an emotional strain on me that was not pleasant, stressed me, depressed me and made me question everything I was doing. I would not recommend it to anyone. But in the longer term, its allowed me to do what I want to do, and make a difference in the world. So maybe it was worth it? Lying is a risky thing to do that goes too far in most cases, but a bit of pretending can be necessary sometimes?

    Reply
    • I agree that pretending is inevitable at times – putting on somewhat of an act to fit within the company culture – I have been guilty of this as well. With the job I am referencing, I look back to where it all began, and from the beginning, I wasn’t myself – I was what I thought they wanted me to be in the interview, and then I had to live up to that once I was hired. It never really worked out and it only got worse. The experience taught me, first hand, the importance of being yourself and being accepted by a company who values the REAL you.

      Reply
  19. @Ryan

    You have gotten me completely wrong here. I completely agree with you and this is where a line should be drawn. Just like you, even I don’t like if someone had said they have an MBA degree when they never went to graduate school. This is way out of tweaking your resume.

    When I said a change is okay in your resume, all I meant was to change yr GPA little bit or change your work experience; just to qualify for the interview. If you have 3.4 GPA and position requirement is 3.5, I think its okay to change it to have a face to face interview. Once you have an interview, you should tell your interviewer about it and if interviewer is okay with your skills and knowledge, I am sure he would not look your GPA or number of yrs in work experience.

    Let me give you a real example: One of my friends applied for a position in big IT Company. One of the requirements for the position was 4 yrs of experience. My friend only had 2.5 yrs of experience. But he had few part time jobs and internships during his college time. So, he updated his resume and change part time experience from full time experience, just to have an interview notice. At the time of interview, he told his interviewer about it and his interviewer was okay after he checked other details- technical knowledge and other requirements. My friend even offered his interviewer to work a month free, without salary, to see if he is at par with 4 yrs of experienced person. His manager agreed on it. After working a month for free, not only my friend over achieved expectations from this manager but also got salary for that period.

    There’s no point to talk about ‘real’ yourself when there’s no one to listen! Without an interview, how could you show someone who you really are?

    Cheers,
    Pritesh
    http://twitter.com/mehta1p

    Reply
  20. @Ryan

    You have gotten me completely wrong here. I completely agree with you and this is where a line should be drawn. Just like you, even I don’t like if someone had said they have an MBA degree when they never went to graduate school. This is way out of tweaking your resume.

    When I said a change is okay in your resume, all I meant was to change yr GPA little bit or change your work experience; just to qualify for the interview. If you have 3.4 GPA and position requirement is 3.5, I think its okay to change it to have a face to face interview. Once you have an interview, you should tell your interviewer about it and if interviewer is okay with your skills and knowledge, I am sure he would not look your GPA or number of yrs in work experience.

    Let me give you a real example: One of my friends applied for a position in big IT Company. One of the requirements for the position was 4 yrs of experience. My friend only had 2.5 yrs of experience. But he had few part time jobs and internships during his college time. So, he updated his resume and change part time experience from full time experience, just to have an interview notice. At the time of interview, he told his interviewer about it and his interviewer was okay after he checked other details- technical knowledge and other requirements. My friend even offered his interviewer to work a month free, without salary, to see if he is at par with 4 yrs of experienced person. His manager agreed on it. After working a month for free, not only my friend over achieved expectations from this manager but also got salary for that period.

    There’s no point to talk about ‘real’ yourself when there’s no one to listen! Without an interview, how could you show someone who you really are?

    Cheers,
    Pritesh
    http://twitter.com/mehta1p

    Reply
  21. I definitely don’t agree with the idea of having to tell lies or changing things around on your resume to make yourself look good for a position. If it was my company hiring and I interviewed someone who lied about their abilities and so forth just to get the position over someone who actually HAS the ability and experience to back, I won’t be too pleased myself. If it’s my dream job, I will do all I can to learn the skills that will make me top of the line quality so I will be ready and able when the opportunity comes.

    On the other hand the issue of experience is something I see differently. Most jobs these days require one to have some years of experience and leaves alot of fresh graduated in the loop. I am not encouraging anyone to lie about their experience but I feel the HR people need to be less adamant with regards to years of experience. Most people can learn stuff they need to know for certain positions in no time. All in all, If i am applying for a position, I’ll rather you take me as I am than for someone you want me to be…so I don’t think i’ll lie about anything.

    Reply
    • Tolu – thanks for your response. In your thoughts you bring up an interesting and important point. The value of RESEARCH. If you do your research, study up on the company and come in with ideas and suggestions, you’ll be much more prepared and you’ll feel much more comfortable with being yourself. The best candidate is someone who is honest, and has also shown enough dedication and interest to do their part before showing up for an interview.

      Reply
  22. I definitely don’t agree with the idea of having to tell lies or changing things around on your resume to make yourself look good for a position. If it was my company hiring and I interviewed someone who lied about their abilities and so forth just to get the position over someone who actually HAS the ability and experience to back, I won’t be too pleased myself. If it’s my dream job, I will do all I can to learn the skills that will make me top of the line quality so I will be ready and able when the opportunity comes.

    On the other hand the issue of experience is something I see differently. Most jobs these days require one to have some years of experience and leaves alot of fresh graduated in the loop. I am not encouraging anyone to lie about their experience but I feel the HR people need to be less adamant with regards to years of experience. Most people can learn stuff they need to know for certain positions in no time. All in all, If i am applying for a position, I’ll rather you take me as I am than for someone you want me to be…so I don’t think i’ll lie about anything.

    Reply
    • Tolu – thanks for your response. In your thoughts you bring up an interesting and important point. The value of RESEARCH. If you do your research, study up on the company and come in with ideas and suggestions, you’ll be much more prepared and you’ll feel much more comfortable with being yourself. The best candidate is someone who is honest, and has also shown enough dedication and interest to do their part before showing up for an interview.

      Reply
  23. If I had the time, I’d go look up the studies about Human Resources and hiring people but it seems to me that most people are more likely to hire if they click with the candidate rather than the candidate’s resume/experience level. Part of the reason is that personality is important in team-building and skills can be learned on-the-job. This is one of the reasons why networking is so important because that initial impression is what usually gets your foot in the door rather than blanketed resumes. I’ve always been told by career counsellors from high school throughout university that networking is the key to job hunting, not the resume although that helps reinforce your impression on people.

    So given that networking is one of the more effective tools, I would not lie on a resume to get a dream job. I’ve never been comfortable even exaggerating my skills but I will admit to using my writing skills to present my meagre experience in a more flattering light without ever outright lying. But I’m also the type of person that will work hard and learn quickly if I am truly passionate about what I’m doing and I know that shows. I also think that if I lied to get a job and then couldn’t perform, I’d be both humiliated and really really upset and that is not conducive to happiness…even in a dream job.

    As for a dream job…I honestly thought my current position was my dream job. In fact, I said so to a career counsellor two months before I landed this position that my ideal job would be this one. Two years later, not only did I realize that my original dream job was not at all what I wanted, it becomes increasingly clear to me that in order to have a dream job, you need to create it. Even if it’s within the parameters of someone else’s expectations and requirements, a dream job is something you do because you want to even if you aren’t getting paid for it (but even better if you are getting paid).

    Reply
    • Mandy you make a very interesting point that I tend to agree with. A dream job is only a dream job if you create it. With that being said, I am a firm believer that you define the work that you do, not the other way around. Up until this point I have let my work define me – If I hated my job, I never did anything about it – I just blamed my distaste on the job and moved on. Now, through experience, I realize that if a job sucks, it’s largely based in my attitude toward it (obviously there are exceptions here). Your definition of a ‘dream job’ is spot on – it’s something that a person would love to do, even if there was no compensation.

      Thanks for coming by Mandy – I haven’t heard from you in a while and was wondering where you had run off to. I hope all is well.

      Reply
      • Hi Matt,

        Thanks for the ever thoughtful response. :)

        Yeah…I’ve been offline for the last couple of weeks because the GYA is a week away and I’ve been at work now, doing loads of overtime trying to get everything ready. I can’t even sit down long enough to read through your articles let alone comment intelligently as of late so I just haven’t. Don’t worry. The GYA is next week so after that, if I haven’t died, I will be back. :)

        Cheers,

        Mandy.

        Reply
  24. If I had the time, I’d go look up the studies about Human Resources and hiring people but it seems to me that most people are more likely to hire if they click with the candidate rather than the candidate’s resume/experience level. Part of the reason is that personality is important in team-building and skills can be learned on-the-job. This is one of the reasons why networking is so important because that initial impression is what usually gets your foot in the door rather than blanketed resumes. I’ve always been told by career counsellors from high school throughout university that networking is the key to job hunting, not the resume although that helps reinforce your impression on people.

    So given that networking is one of the more effective tools, I would not lie on a resume to get a dream job. I’ve never been comfortable even exaggerating my skills but I will admit to using my writing skills to present my meagre experience in a more flattering light without ever outright lying. But I’m also the type of person that will work hard and learn quickly if I am truly passionate about what I’m doing and I know that shows. I also think that if I lied to get a job and then couldn’t perform, I’d be both humiliated and really really upset and that is not conducive to happiness…even in a dream job.

    As for a dream job…I honestly thought my current position was my dream job. In fact, I said so to a career counsellor two months before I landed this position that my ideal job would be this one. Two years later, not only did I realize that my original dream job was not at all what I wanted, it becomes increasingly clear to me that in order to have a dream job, you need to create it. Even if it’s within the parameters of someone else’s expectations and requirements, a dream job is something you do because you want to even if you aren’t getting paid for it (but even better if you are getting paid).

    Reply
    • Mandy you make a very interesting point that I tend to agree with. A dream job is only a dream job if you create it. With that being said, I am a firm believer that you define the work that you do, not the other way around. Up until this point I have let my work define me – If I hated my job, I never did anything about it – I just blamed my distaste on the job and moved on. Now, through experience, I realize that if a job sucks, it’s largely based in my attitude toward it (obviously there are exceptions here). Your definition of a ‘dream job’ is spot on – it’s something that a person would love to do, even if there was no compensation.

      Thanks for coming by Mandy – I haven’t heard from you in a while and was wondering where you had run off to. I hope all is well.

      Reply
      • Hi Matt,

        Thanks for the ever thoughtful response. :)

        Yeah…I’ve been offline for the last couple of weeks because the GYA is a week away and I’ve been at work now, doing loads of overtime trying to get everything ready. I can’t even sit down long enough to read through your articles let alone comment intelligently as of late so I just haven’t. Don’t worry. The GYA is next week so after that, if I haven’t died, I will be back. :)

        Cheers,

        Mandy.

        Reply
  25. If you have to lie to get your dream job, it is not your dream job in the first place. If you lie on your resume, you are going to be misrepresenting your skills. If your skills are misrepresented, you are not going to be able to perform the job as well as they are hoping. Once you are performing below the expectations based on your fictitious resume, your boss decides either you lied on your resume or you are not good at what you do. A job you can easily be fired from is not a dream job.

    @Pritesh – “When I said a change is okay in your resume, all I meant was to change yr GPA little bit or change your work experience; just to qualify for the interview.” Are you kidding me? These are the easiest things to verify in the job search process. Once the job recruiter figures out the GPA on your transcript is two tenths higher, he knows you are lying. Also, amount of job experience is just about the only thing that past employers are allowed to say to interviewers. Because the company could be sued, most large company policies are to only say when and where you worked for them when asked for a reference.

    I think that lying on any type of quantitative values on your resume, such as GPA or number of years of experience would be the equivalent of misspelling 20 words your entire resume. I would not hire you even if you admitted that you lied to me in order to get the job while in the interview. That is a terrible practice and I believe many companies would be put off by this practice.

    Reply
  26. If you have to lie to get your dream job, it is not your dream job in the first place. If you lie on your resume, you are going to be misrepresenting your skills. If your skills are misrepresented, you are not going to be able to perform the job as well as they are hoping. Once you are performing below the expectations based on your fictitious resume, your boss decides either you lied on your resume or you are not good at what you do. A job you can easily be fired from is not a dream job.

    @Pritesh – “When I said a change is okay in your resume, all I meant was to change yr GPA little bit or change your work experience; just to qualify for the interview.” Are you kidding me? These are the easiest things to verify in the job search process. Once the job recruiter figures out the GPA on your transcript is two tenths higher, he knows you are lying. Also, amount of job experience is just about the only thing that past employers are allowed to say to interviewers. Because the company could be sued, most large company policies are to only say when and where you worked for them when asked for a reference.

    I think that lying on any type of quantitative values on your resume, such as GPA or number of years of experience would be the equivalent of misspelling 20 words your entire resume. I would not hire you even if you admitted that you lied to me in order to get the job while in the interview. That is a terrible practice and I believe many companies would be put off by this practice.

    Reply
  27. 1- As far as my morale lets me. Having no regrets doesn’t mean just doing what you love, it also means being able to live with your mistakes.

    2- Major role. In the end, we have to answer to ourselves. Professional success is overrated, being a good person matters more.

    3- As long as I’m not lying, it’s ok. If I don’t provide all the info they require, they probably won’t hire me anyway. We all have pros and cons, there’s no perfect employee, so why would I tell something about me that they don’t ask for and it could only hurt my reputation?

    4- Everything. When a certain legal problem occurred in my company, I was asked to “give a name”, or I would be the punished one. I cried, right there, but not because of the pressure, but because I realized that I was at one of the defining moments of my life. I was finding out how much my integrity is worth, what I am capable of doing to get ahead. I told them that they could fire me if they wanted to, but I wasn’t going to give away someone to save my ass. Both me and the guilty one are still working there. I don’t know about him, but I can sleep peacefully at night.

    Reply
  28. 1- As far as my morale lets me. Having no regrets doesn’t mean just doing what you love, it also means being able to live with your mistakes.

    2- Major role. In the end, we have to answer to ourselves. Professional success is overrated, being a good person matters more.

    3- As long as I’m not lying, it’s ok. If I don’t provide all the info they require, they probably won’t hire me anyway. We all have pros and cons, there’s no perfect employee, so why would I tell something about me that they don’t ask for and it could only hurt my reputation?

    4- Everything. When a certain legal problem occurred in my company, I was asked to “give a name”, or I would be the punished one. I cried, right there, but not because of the pressure, but because I realized that I was at one of the defining moments of my life. I was finding out how much my integrity is worth, what I am capable of doing to get ahead. I told them that they could fire me if they wanted to, but I wasn’t going to give away someone to save my ass. Both me and the guilty one are still working there. I don’t know about him, but I can sleep peacefully at night.

    Reply
  29. Matt! Sorry it’s been so long since I stopped by. I absolutely loved what you said about karma and what goes around comes around. Whether you are trying to land a dream job or a dream relationship, misrepresenting yourself will only come back to bite you in the ass later.

    Enter cheesy analogy of planting seeds – each of us plants seeds every day. Even if we can’t see the byproduct immediately, one day those plants will grow, and the question is whether we are planting seeds of goodwill or seeds of destruction (for lack of a better word).

    Carlos – I second what you said – it is all about sleeping peacefully at night :D. Life is too short to do otherwise!!

    Reply
    • Jenny Blake! Good to see you around the pond – it’s been a while, I hope all has been well. Your analogy rings true (as cheesy as it may be) – I’d rather plant seeds that will grow into prolific and prosperous future endeavors instead of (essentially) setting myself up for failure. By lying and being someone you’re not, you are doing just that – setting yourself for the big come down later on. Don’t be a stranger – great as always to have you around this neck of the woods!

      Reply
  30. Matt! Sorry it’s been so long since I stopped by. I absolutely loved what you said about karma and what goes around comes around. Whether you are trying to land a dream job or a dream relationship, misrepresenting yourself will only come back to bite you in the ass later.

    Enter cheesy analogy of planting seeds – each of us plants seeds every day. Even if we can’t see the byproduct immediately, one day those plants will grow, and the question is whether we are planting seeds of goodwill or seeds of destruction (for lack of a better word).

    Carlos – I second what you said – it is all about sleeping peacefully at night :D. Life is too short to do otherwise!!

    Reply
    • Jenny Blake! Good to see you around the pond – it’s been a while, I hope all has been well. Your analogy rings true (as cheesy as it may be) – I’d rather plant seeds that will grow into prolific and prosperous future endeavors instead of (essentially) setting myself up for failure. By lying and being someone you’re not, you are doing just that – setting yourself for the big come down later on. Don’t be a stranger – great as always to have you around this neck of the woods!

      Reply
  31. When I was young and foolish ( :) ) I decided that my true calling in life would be as a PR rep. I interviewed all over, with absolutely no degree/experience/6 month “lull” in my employment history. Finally I landed an interview at a city tourism department as their website administrator and PR assistant. I was thru the moon! Went to the interview, did all the stuff, had a great feeling, met a blind date for lunch and scheduled a second date, all in all a FANTASTIC day! Then the director called my previous employers which happens to include my best friend. Apparently, there was a question regarding the fact that I “laughed a little too loud and boisterously” (phrases like that stick in your mind for the whole of time!) Why would I want to work with people like this? Cause it was my dream job.

    I ended up getting the job (during my second interview I barely cracked a smile, wore an overpriced suit and carried a bag that I saw in the director’s office and was exactly what I thought she wanted me to be.) Needless to say, the position sucked. My new boss, well, she was the devil. I needed to lose 25 pounds (I was quite athletic and the only weight to lose was muscle,) was advised to buy an entirely new trendy and labeled wardrobe, told that my friendly and outgoing nature needed to be tempered and more “business-like,” and that’s just the tip of that iceberg.

    How could I expect anything else though? I sold out and pretended to be what I knew she wanted in the job. That’s the kind of thing that happens though. Even when you are desperate to get to your dream, you better be ready to accept the consequences of your actions.

    Reply
    • Elisa. Thank you for sharing your story – it illustrates the point to a tee. When you sell yourself out and become someone you’re not, someone you think they want you to be – you have to be ready to accept the consequences and what’s worse, you have to live up to that persona of the person they hired. Bottom line? Just be yourself and everything will fall into place.

      Reply
  32. When I was young and foolish ( :) ) I decided that my true calling in life would be as a PR rep. I interviewed all over, with absolutely no degree/experience/6 month “lull” in my employment history. Finally I landed an interview at a city tourism department as their website administrator and PR assistant. I was thru the moon! Went to the interview, did all the stuff, had a great feeling, met a blind date for lunch and scheduled a second date, all in all a FANTASTIC day! Then the director called my previous employers which happens to include my best friend. Apparently, there was a question regarding the fact that I “laughed a little too loud and boisterously” (phrases like that stick in your mind for the whole of time!) Why would I want to work with people like this? Cause it was my dream job.

    I ended up getting the job (during my second interview I barely cracked a smile, wore an overpriced suit and carried a bag that I saw in the director’s office and was exactly what I thought she wanted me to be.) Needless to say, the position sucked. My new boss, well, she was the devil. I needed to lose 25 pounds (I was quite athletic and the only weight to lose was muscle,) was advised to buy an entirely new trendy and labeled wardrobe, told that my friendly and outgoing nature needed to be tempered and more “business-like,” and that’s just the tip of that iceberg.

    How could I expect anything else though? I sold out and pretended to be what I knew she wanted in the job. That’s the kind of thing that happens though. Even when you are desperate to get to your dream, you better be ready to accept the consequences of your actions.

    Reply
    • Elisa. Thank you for sharing your story – it illustrates the point to a tee. When you sell yourself out and become someone you’re not, someone you think they want you to be – you have to be ready to accept the consequences and what’s worse, you have to live up to that persona of the person they hired. Bottom line? Just be yourself and everything will fall into place.

      Reply
  33. You should never lie to get a job but elaborating is highly recommended. I have been looking over a lot of resumes lately for our intern positions and it is remarkable how bland some people portray themselves. I think this is one of the biggest deterrents of getting a job, most people half-ass it. Your resume is the embodiment of everything that you’ve done, brag to me!

    “Looking for a job IS a full time job.” If you don’t have a job, what else are you doing? Sometimes you need to settle for a regular job and not your “dream job.” It’s the harsh reality but you need to start somewhere.

    First time here, wont be the last!

    Reply
    • Welcome Trace – glad to have you here! I agree that sometimes you have to settle for a job that isn’t exactly the ‘ideal’ – but on the flip side, it is becoming increasingly easy for people our age to do some freelance work, make it on their own, and hold out for a while until something that better suits there wants/needs comes along. I think far too often companies think they can make a low-ball offer and someone will automatically eat it up without a hitch. Call it over-entitled, or call it not selling yourself short and settling, but we’re seeing an interesting dynamic transpiring in the career world.

      100% agree that many, many people half-ass a resume. The most important advice I have for anyone is to be yourself – even on your resume – be professional, but don’t be afraid to incorporate some of your own personality.

      Reply
  34. You should never lie to get a job but elaborating is highly recommended. I have been looking over a lot of resumes lately for our intern positions and it is remarkable how bland some people portray themselves. I think this is one of the biggest deterrents of getting a job, most people half-ass it. Your resume is the embodiment of everything that you’ve done, brag to me!

    “Looking for a job IS a full time job.” If you don’t have a job, what else are you doing? Sometimes you need to settle for a regular job and not your “dream job.” It’s the harsh reality but you need to start somewhere.

    First time here, wont be the last!

    Reply
    • Welcome Trace – glad to have you here! I agree that sometimes you have to settle for a job that isn’t exactly the ‘ideal’ – but on the flip side, it is becoming increasingly easy for people our age to do some freelance work, make it on their own, and hold out for a while until something that better suits there wants/needs comes along. I think far too often companies think they can make a low-ball offer and someone will automatically eat it up without a hitch. Call it over-entitled, or call it not selling yourself short and settling, but we’re seeing an interesting dynamic transpiring in the career world.

      100% agree that many, many people half-ass a resume. The most important advice I have for anyone is to be yourself – even on your resume – be professional, but don’t be afraid to incorporate some of your own personality.

      Reply
  35. OH its so hard to manage a dreamy jobs in the job market. I like this and i want to win from this huge competition.

    Reply
  36. That’s a big topic I should say. But I will try my best to go for my dream job!

    Reply

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About Matt Cheuvront

I empower folks to do the work they want to do and live the life they want to live. Connect on Twitter or check out the work I'm doing at Proof.

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