Lie Or Not To Lie, That is the Question

General / Monday, August 7th, 2017

I found a story about a person whose employment was terminated. Take a moment and read her story:

I worked at a good job for 6 years but quit to work for a competitor. 1 year later, I was fired for unsatisfactory work performance. I emailed my employer that if he was unable to give a good reference, would he at least not give me a bad one. He replied that he would tell anyone that called the reasons why I was terminated. I checked this out and unfortunately it is legal for him to do this, as long as he refrains from personal character references or opinions, etc. I can’t help but think that several job interviews and job offers were lost because of my past termination and his references. It seems like my only options are to:

(A) take a job, maybe temporarily, that I don’t like and stick with it to build a good reference.

(B) Lie (which I’m against) about my experience and erase that job off my resume and replace it with self employment.

(C) Keep plugging away at the job search and hope that someday I’ll finally get an employer that doesn’t check past references or doesn’t care.

Since I have a family to feed and need a job soon, I’m leaning towards lying. My rationale is that I’m not lying about more experience than I have, but to erase a year of bad experience. I may or may not have deserved to be fired but I don’t deserve to have my former employer keep me from getting another job.

What advice would you give this person? Here is your opportunity to give advice. What would you recommend for this person to do? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Do You Dare Lie?

Unfortunately, today we have expanded our definition of lying. According to Merriam-Webster, a lie is defined:

to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive

to create a false or misleading impression

Here are some questions people may ask themselves:

  1. Is it a lie if you make a false statement that you believe to be true?
  2. Is it a lie if you make a false statement, you know the statement is false, in order to deceive?
  3. Is stretching the truth lying?

If you tell an untruth, make a false statement knowingly or not, if you stretch the truth, then by definition, you are lying. Period!

When it comes to the hiring process, from completing the application to the interview, from the first day of employment to the last day, you have a responsibility to operate from integrity. To be honest in all that you do and say.

Here are some common things people “stretch the truth” about in the hiring process:

  1. Some people lie about where they have worked in the past
  2. Some people lie about the dates of employment
  3. Some people lie about where and when they attended college

Lying by its definition should not be an option you choose when applying for jobs, during your interview or during your employment. Most companies spend a lot of money verifying your information, especially information included in your resume and cover letter and on their application. Don’t erode your chances for employment by lying.