by Rachel Kuipers
Getting a job is difficult but getting experience can be harder, and some students resort to unconventional methods to fill gaps in their resumes when what they have just isn’t enough.
One anonymous source falsely included on his internship resume he is proficient in both C language programming and MATLAB, and he exaggerated his GPA by .1 percent.
“Knowing how to program in MATLAB and in C puts you [at] an advantage so that increases your chances on getting an interview with [companies],” the sophomore electrical engineering major said. “If you do get in they do teach you what you need to know and they also don’t really expect you to know a lot since you are just an intern, so it’s a win-win situation.”
Another student, Julius Atlas as he asked to be called, also changed his resume to look better to potential employers. For several jobs and programs, he included activities he did not participate in.
“They needed someone who volunteered in their community to showcase appreciation and leadership qualities,” the sophomore criminology major said. “I lied about being active in my church group and helping the local youth soccer team clubs.”
A third student said on his college application he was in multiple clubs.
“I thought my resume looked weak in my extra-curricular sections because I wasn’t in a lot of clubs and stuff in high school,” he said. “My friend and I suddenly realized that there is no way for the University to check every detail of every resume so we lied and added a lot of clubs.”
A lot of people lie on their resumes so you have to go along with it or you’ll be left behind, he said. “I think there is a small moral issue but with many people lying on their resume, it builds confidence for others to lie on theirs and not get caught.”
None of the students were caught. According to two, lying on their resumes has yet to help. The third was accepted into the colleges he applied to. All three said they would do it again.
“Hell yeah I would,” Atlas said. “I think it’s unfair for companies or other institutions to require volunteer experience to determine eligibility. During the school year I’m focused on school. Then during the summer I have to remain active in activities that I enjoy so my depression is stabilized.”
The Society for Human Resource Management released a recent poll showing 76 percent of employers conducted “reference background checks” when hiring, and about two percent do not verify resumes. Eighty-one percent of the time, the applicant reviewer conducted these checks to verify former employers, and 39 percent said they sometimes find inaccuracies.