Guilty Over Resume Embellishments

Postby firsttimer19 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:29 pm

Writing things out always seems to help me, so here I go...excuse the length!

About 3 years ago, after graduating university, I decided to move to a beautiful area and work at a hotel to "find myself". I did not want to pursue a career associated with my degree (political science) and so I thought this was a good idea. I DID find myself in this place, and still live here, its gorgeous! I began working in a customer service role, which was enjoyable, while taking post-graduate classes in marketing. The hotel is part of a large chain, and I had a goal of moving from my customer service role to a marketing role...which would be a long road but I was ready and determined. While completing my courses and learning as much as I could, I also worked full time, trying to build a solid reputation with the company. After about a year and a half of this, I was able to convince the hotels marketing department to allow me to help out and "shadow" the department from time to time in order to further get my name out there and build a strong reputation. I did this while also joining a volunteer committee within the hotel, so all was good and well. A job eventually came up in the department, and I was told to apply, with the manager hinting that I would be given a longer look than other candidates given my initiative. Great! I got the job, and was extremely happy.

Then the guilt kicked in. Despite not needing to - this was a very entry level position, requiring more of a desire to learn than anything else - I felt insecure enough to embellish on a past job experience, one I worked at over 3 years prior. I gave myself a better title and added responsibilities. The funny thing - none of these added responsibilities had anything to do with my new job! Perhaps transferable skills, but nothing else. I immediately felt a wave of guilt, and a year later, it persists. I have been working in this job for over a year now, and I continually feel a sense of guilt, despite being great and contributing above and beyond my expectations. I have even taken on a larger work load as a result...which may be over compensation from my guilt...who knows, but I get the work done, and the quality is always superb.

I suppose its also worth noting that although i embellished, or lied, about my experience, I never lied about my skills. Its never right to lie, but the added responsibilities and title, in my view I suppose at the time, better reflected my capabilities and my potential, and I guess at the time lying was the best way to reflect this.

Anyways...it feels good to write this, and I hope I can get over the guilt one day. I know I should feel better...this was a secluded mistake and does not reflect my character, and I have DEFINITELY learned to never do this again. In fact, the positives from this experience are that I have made many positive changes in my life. But the fact remains - nearly every day I feel down about this blemish.
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#1

Postby firsttimer19 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:52 pm

Because it feels good to write...I will continue :) this feeling strong regret, I have found MANY positives and try to focus on those. For example, my lies/embellishment were not rooted in 'evil', I just wanted an opportunity to show others, and myself, what I could do. I never was ever really given a shot, most of my life I was average at best, and so I really just was a strong desire to show everyone, and myself, what I was capable of. On realistically, I have surprised myself with what I have achieved in this job! I have surpassed my expectations. Despite this, I don't allow myself to feel any pride...I always just think back to the fact that I lied. It removes me from the present moment, even when I am out of work and at home or with friends...which is frustrating.

Another positive - I believe this guilt to be a sign that I am just growing as a human being...the standards to which I hold myself are higher, which is why I find it difficult to accept my failure. My values have changed, for the better. This has given me a sense that although times can be dark right now, I am on the right path and everything will be OK...but this is still difficult for me to FULLY accept...guilt persists most of the time, and is always there waiting for me when I wake up in the morning. I am on the right path, but negativity and guilt are always trying to trip me up.
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#2

Postby PranasanaD » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:24 am

Hi firsttimer, I understand what you mean. It's a terrible feeling to have and perhaps one that you can get out of. It is not nice to lie, it feels awful, it feels like we're manipulating because we also hate to be lied to. Resume, CV, interviews are tricky ones. It isn't that it is expected that you lie but so many people do or, they are never given a chance. Most people can't pull it off (it shows they're lying) or when they get the job they don't do what you seem to be doing i.e. going above and beyond expectations. If the feeling is really as bad as you say, waking up thinking about it, I would do something about it. Look for another job and don't lie this time and come clean with the person you lied to before going. Find another job, get the offer, then have a meeting with the person you lied to and tell him why you're considering leaving...i.e. you feel bad that you lied. He might want to keep you by giving you a raise! It's either that or promise yourself not to lie again as you are obviously very uncomfortable doing it. Learn from this experience, forgive yourself and don't repeat. Hope this helps and keep up the good job! D.
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#3

Postby emyaj » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:05 am

You are a go getter and I admire that!
In my opinion, I think you are being hard on yourself about the whole resume thing. Honestly, the whole process of applying for jobs and playing the game sucks. Companies tend to look at resumes really quickly and they want to find skills/traits in your resume that relate to the job that you're applying for in order for them to consider you. Most people applying for jobs knows this. That's why it's very important how you craft your resume. I remember speaking to a former coworker who left the company and she told me she added things to her resume that she did not actually perform. She said, she observed these things being done at the company and that was a good enough reason to include them in her resume. She also said that if she had put on her resume that all she did was watch videos and record the time in Excel in which things happened in the video, what job would hire her?? Basically what i'm saying is revising the resume and making it cater to a potential job is more common than you think.
Also in your situation, you had the advantage of applying for a job from within. Naturally, companies would take your resume into extra consideration (over outsiders) because you already work there and by applying for another position within the company, really highlights to them that you have the drive to take on a new and challenging role within the company. :)

So in my opinion, you were only playing the job game and should let this go. Plus, you work hard at your job and it shows. :)
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