My 8 year old son was struggling in school the other day, and his teacher ask him why he was having trouble concentrating. He said "my little sister has been sick with the stomach flu all week and up all night and I have not been able to sleep". His teacher sent my wife and I an email asking if everything was ok with his little sister (she also copied the Assistant Principal). Trouble is, he doesn't have a little sister and no one has been sick in our house. Exasperating for a Parent (Grandma and Grandpa thought it was funny), but a good learning tool for us to use on him...and for a job seeker writing a resume, or filling out a job application.
The moral of the story? DON'T LIE!!
Good advice...especially while you are looking for a new opportunity, or trying to further your career. Many companies use background checks through professional organizations, or at the least, check out LinkedIn and Facebook to learn more about you...so don't lie. If you have hiccups on your resume, or your career path, or your credit...don't be ashamed to let your recruiter know up front. It may not be important if it is flushed out up front. The later issues come out in the interview process, the harder it is to explain, and more importantly, the harder it is to get the offer.
So, don't have a college degree? Don't say that you do...it may not matter, but if it does, don't lie. Maybe the company has a program that will help you finish your studies. Position it that way ("I don't have a degree, but was hoping to finish it soon"). Fired from previous job? It happens. Be up front, and own it without blaming others. That goes a long way with interviewers. Been convicted of a crime? Own it and explain it and let them know you have paid for that mistake, and move on. Anything you think will be an issue...let your recruiter know. They can help put it in the right light and let you move into your next position.
Remember, Mother knows best, DON'T LIE.