A colleague's son was struggling in school, and his teacher asked 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 haven't been able to sleep." His teacher sent 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 had been sick in the house. Exasperating for a parent (Grandma and Grandpa thought it was funny), but a good learning tool--and for a job seeker writing a resume or filling out a job application.
The moral of the story? If you lie, you're going to get caught.
Good advice--especially while you are looking for a new opportunity, or trying to further your career. Most 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, your career path, or your credit, don't be ashamed to let your recruiter know upfront. It may not be important if it is discussed early on. 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 upfront and own it without blaming others. That goes a long way with interviewers. Been convicted of a crime? Own it, explain it, 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.
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