Employers typically ask for specific certifications and licenses as a way to prove you've got the skills necessary for the job, notes Augustine.
In some cases, the certification is so important, it might be legally required. To practice as a registered nurse, for example, state laws stipulate that you must have the required nursing licensure. Working without the proper licensing or certification in some professions could lead to lawsuits for you and your employer and even criminal prosecution.
In jobs that aren't as tightly regulated, lying can still land you in hot water. If you say you're certified in a particular software program when you're not, you might not perform like others with that training do. Your employer will discover this quickly and could have cause to fire you for lying during the hiring process. Of those surveyed by TopResume, 85 percent said they'd reconsider a candidate who lied about licensing.
What you can do: If you're working toward a certification, be upfront about this. If you're self-taught, be ready to speak to that and remember that this fact might be equally impressive to certain employers. If the certification is truly something you'll need to attain, make sure you attain it so you don't feel pressured to mislead people.
The best strategy in any situation is to simply tell the truth. "So many people assume that others have flawless resumes so they want to fib," says Augustine, but they forget that every candidate has strengths and weaknesses. Ignore the pressure to be someone you're not, she says, and focus instead on the unique skills only you can offer.
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