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)

About Matt Cheuvront

I empower folks to do the work they want to do and live the life they want to live. I also watch entirely too much Saved by the Bell, run marathons, and drink plenty of craft beer. Check out the work my company is doing at Proof Branding.