Your work history and employment dates are the most crucial pieces of information you’ll ever need to put on your resume or application. Thus, you must ensure your data is accurate. These are some common questions about fudging employment dates, lying about employment dates on resume documents, and more.
Do you have to put work dates on a resume?
Work dates are always necessary for a resume or application because potential employers need to see how recent an applicant’s work is. However, the dates don’t have to be as precise on a resume as on a full-blown application.
For example, you would only need to specify that you worked from 3/18 to 3/22 on a resume, whereas you may need to put 3/21/18 to 3/14/22 on an application.
Some workers worry about ageism and are reluctant to add their employment dates to their resumes. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid such discrimination on a resume, and one way is only to go back three to five years.
Can u exaggerate the dates of employment on a resume?
Some Reddit users want to know if it’s okay to exaggerate employment on a resume. Whether you exaggerate employment dates depends on your definition of exaggeration. Exaggerating is writing down that you’ve worked for an employer for five years while knowing you only worked there for six months.
It could also be entitling yourself as a manager or executive if you never held such a position. Being months or days off may not be an exaggeration, because sometimes employers have different termination dates than workers have.
For example, a former employer may have delayed processing your termination. Thus, you might think they terminated your employment on 12/2020, but their date is several months later. The same can happen in reverse.
It’s also not an exaggeration if you held more than one position with the same company but worked there uninterrupted for consecutive years. For example, let’s say during one work stint, you were a cashier for three months and then an equipment repair person for 21 months.
You were still with the same company for 24 consecutive months and spent the bulk of that time as a repair person. There’s no need to list this work experience as two separate jobs with two different employment dates unless doing so can benefit you somehow. You will need to list them as distinct experiences if they are from two different stints.
You should always be precise when filling in your employment stint dates. That way, you will still be in the candidacy after the prospective employer checks your work history and does a background check.
It’s understandable if you accidentally made your employment dates off by a month on an ancient job. However, it’s still wise to do your due diligence and try to find the correct dates. You should avoid lying about employment dates on resume documents and leave all of your information verifiable.
What if I can’t remember the dates of employment?
If you cannot remember your dates of employment, you’ll need to decide how important it is to list the job. Calling the human resources department of your former employer is a good idea if you haven’t worked there in a long time.
You might be able to get the information from a supervisor or manager if you’ve recently departed, but HR will definitely have the information for you. Once you grab hold of them, they can check in their system after you provide them with your name, social security number, old work ID, or other identifying information.
Do employers verify employment dates?
Most employers perform some type of employment verification. The extent of the background check depends on the company and its resources. A governmental employer will likely go as far back into your history as possible, and they have the resources to verify it to the exact hour.
Large corporations perform extensive background checks as well. They may also ask for references they can contact to get information about your character and work ethic.
A less prominent company may not have the workforce or financial resources to perform in-depth background check processes. However, you should never assume that they don’t. You might apply for a job with a small company and feel like you’re applying for the government because of its in-depth verification system.
What can happen if you lie about employment dates?
Money magazine reported that 56 percent of employers found their candidates lying about employment dates and skills on their resumes. Thus, you won’t be the first or last person to lie on a resume, but you might have to suffer the consequences.
Several things can happen if you lie about your employment dates. For one, the employer can terminate you from the hiring process if it finds an error or falsification during its background check. Secondly, you could get released from your position if the background check exposes the lies after you receive the job.
Thirdly, you could get the job and then be expected to perform like an advanced worker because of the experience you said you had. Other reasons, such as new-job jitters and long periods away from a position, could cause you to underperform at first. However, it’s more likely to occur if you lie about the employment dates on your resume.
Modern employers are highly skeptical of candidates, and many of them look for certain resume exaggeration flags. They “test” and suspect even the most truthful workers. Therefore, now isn’t the time for any embellishments.
What should I do about wrong employment dates?
Fudging employment dates can happen, and it doesn’t mean you’re a terrible person or a liar. In the age of online resumes, you can easily edit your form once you realize you have made a mistake.
If you discover that you provided the wrong date later in the process, you can notify your interviewer or prospective boss of the error. He or she can then absorb that information and decide how to fix it.
Your options might be limited if a background check returns information about the incorrect dates. It depends on the third-party company the employer uses to verify you. Some of them reach out to the applicants and allow them to explain information found in the background check.
If so, you can clarify why you made the error and then provide the company with the proper dates. On the other hand, your prospective employer may use a stricter company that issues “red light” recommendations if anything is off.
As you can see, ensuring that your dates are right the first time is vital. A good rule-of-thumb practice is to write down all your employment dates and keep the list handy for when you need to craft a new resume or submit an application.
- Should You Rush the Hiring Process by Lying About Having Another Job Offer?
- I Lied on My Resume and Got the Job: How to Get Away With It
- Can Prospective Employer Contact Your Current Employer During A Background Check?
Founder of Eggcellentwork.com. With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.