Certain dates are unchangeable: birth dates, wedding dates, death dates (sorry!). The start date was a specific day, as was the end date. No gray area here.
Titles are also pretty firm. President, Accountant, King. Pretty obvious what each role entails.
Yet we continue to see discrepancies such as this:
Old Resume: Granny Annie Logistics Inc., Manager, Customer Service, January 2000 – August 2002 / Peyton Grace Consolidators LLC., Supervisor, November 2002 – January 2003
New Resume: Granny Annie Logistics Inc., Manager, Customer Service, January 2000 – January 2003 (no mention of Peyton Grace Consolidators)
Old Resume: Export Coordinator, May 2013 –May 2014, Export Manager, May 2014 – Present
New Resume: Export Manager, May 2013 – Present (Made yourself manager for a year longer than you were)
Why do we fudge titles and dates of employment on a resume? Because we’re trying to hide something. It may look good on paper, but the gesture may backfire.
Here are a few ways companies find out:
- the new resume doesn’t match one previously submitted (assume wherever you submit keeps database records!)
- the resume doesn’t match the candidate’s LinkedIn profile (assume it’s going to be viewed!)
- people get accidentally “outed” by a mutual acquaintance, especially in a niche industry (assume six degrees of separation!)
The risk you take is that the company or recruiter thinks you’re trying to get one over on them. Remember, this precious document is the first impression people get of you as a worker. Companies are a lot more understanding and sympathetic than they’re given credit for, so I would err on the side of honesty and a good explanation.