Searching for a job in today’s job market can be a tedious and competitive process. Employers are adding more requisites and qualifications to job postings in an attempt to attract the best candidate. That, in turn, requires candidates to find ways to better market themselves, including sometimes exaggerating their skills and qualifications on their resume and application or misrepresenting why they left their last employer. Let me warn you—don’t misrepresent your qualifications or the reason you left your employer. If a job is meant for you, the job will be for you.
How can a misstatement on an application affect you in an employment case?
For purposes of this article, employers will use any information that will undermine the employee’s credibility. Put simply, one of the employer’s objectives is to show that employee is not trustworthy. One way to do that is by looking to an employee’s application to determine if the employee misrepresented his or her experiences, qualifications, or previous job history. If you intentionally mispresent information on your application or your resume, the company will also use your misrepresentation against you as an after-acquired evidence defense. The best way to avoid helping an employer build one of its defenses is by being truthful.
What to do if you were terminated from your last job?
The answer is simple—tell the truth. While I understand that it may be hard to tell someone that you were terminated, it is always easier to be forthright than having to explain a falsehood later.
Experienced hiring managers understand that things happen, and thing do not always work out. According to a Harvard Business Review study, 45% of executives have experienced a major work failure such as a termination. The study further shows that 78% of those executives were able to find better opportunities simply because they were terminated.
If you get to the interview process, be prepared to tell an honest story. The focus should be on you. This is not the opportunity to disparage your former employer. This is an opportunity for you to share how your experiences and qualifications will best serve the prospective employer. Even in a termination, something good comes from it and it is YOU!
If you have been wrongfully terminated or accused of misrepresenting your qualifications your resume, you should immediately schedule a consult with me.