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Lying on Your Résumé Paid Off For This Laid-Off Accountant

Maury Povich Show screengrab

Insider has published a first-hand account from a 37-year-old who lost their job at the beginning of the pandemic when the accounting firm they were working for went under (side note: had to be one tiny firm or we would have heard about that no?). They did what most people did in that situation, enjoyed the break offered by unemployment and spent time with their child. But then 18 months had gone by and they knew they had to get back to work. Note: Insider doesn’t gender the writer so we won’t either, their identity and employment history was verified before Insider ran the article.

Although résumé gaps are not the end of the world and certainly not if the gap occurred any time between 2020 and now, OP felt they would be judged for taking so much time off when they decided to come crawling back to the job market. “So I fibbed a little,” they wrote.

That little fib? “I created a name for a consulting firm and described the things I had actually done in the last 18 months, like helping friends with their invoices and accounting,” they said. “I just made it sound much more professional and official.”

Apparently no one bothered to Google the made-up firm, nor did they run an employment check. “No one ever asked me about it, at least. If they had, I would’ve come clean and told them I did have my business license and was doing small-time accounting to make ends meet while taking time with my kid,” they said. So it wasn’t a gap, then? Are we talking “small-time accounting” = figuring out how much to tip at socially-distanced brunch? Because doing freelance accounting work between full-time jobs is not the same as not working at all.

The job they applied for required knowledge of a specific software system they’d never used before, Insider unfortunately doesn’t tell us what software that was. We’re going to have to assume it was something one can learn by watching a few YouTube videos because that’s exactly what OP did. “I wrote on my résumé that I was familiar with the software, and then I set about making that the truth by researching it and watching YouTube videos on how to use it,” they wrote.

Seriously, what software do we think this is?

It’s definitely not the easiest or most intuitive software. But I have enough faith in myself that if I don’t know something, I have the ability to learn how to do it. I’m very skilled at problem-solving, and I know when to ask questions.

There’s also support in place for honing your skills at the software (though no one at work knows this is my first time learning it rather than honing my previous skills!). It’s a complicated software, but I’ve faced every challenge and then some.

Things have apparently gone well for OP since fudging their way into a new job, they say they make “much more money than before,” have gotten two raises since starting, and love where they work. “I don’t think I would have been able to get the job if I hadn’t lied on my résumé,” they said.

They wrote: “If someone else asked me if I thought they should do the same, I would say: absolutely. It’s worth it. Have confidence in your skills, and know how to rephrase things in ways that are technically true (like my having spent my 18 months off helping friends with their accounting needs). I’m glad I lied on my résumé. My hardest day at my current job is easier than my average day at my previous job, and that has made a world of a difference in my quality of life.”

What do we think? Yay or nay to lying on your résumé?

I lied on my résumé to get a better-paying job — and I think others should do the same [Insider]

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