Where to Draw the Line Between Putting Your Best Foot Forward & Lying in Your Job Search

Put your best foot forward! is a pretty common phrase, and if you’ve been in the job search for more than two seconds, then you’ve probably been advised to do so.

We’re big fans of the phrase. After all, we’re all about giving you the tools to write your very best resume — and your resume is usually the first thing an employer sees from you.

Putting your best foot forward is showing your best qualities in a way that makes the next step of the hiring process logical to you. Unfortunately, many job seekers read this as “lie”.

Faking it til’ you make it is not a good road to go down. When you fudge, fib, or falsify information on your cover letter, resume, or in your interview, you might make it to the next step, but you probably won’t get much farther.

Here are some do’s and don’ts when drawing the line between putting your best foot forward and downright lying:

DO be confident.


In your job search, confidence truly is key. When you smile, introduce yourself, or even write an engaging email, an employer develops their own opinion about you. Your experience might not be so developed, but when you can handle an interview situation confidently, you will leave the impression of someone more qualified.


DON’T blur the lines.


Let’s say you were an intern last semester. You worked really hard and you think, “Hmm, I worked almost as hard as my manager, I’ll just say that I had his title instead.” Sometimes a hiring manager catches this fib and sometimes they don’t. If you were a hardworking intern, illustrate that with the bullet points below your title, not by lying about your position at the company.


DO pick your skills wisely.


You probably have more skills than your resume can fit, so it’s important to pick the ones that will stand out the most. Check out our new Skills Explorer tool to pinpoint the most in-demand skills to include on your resume.


DON’T write fiction.


Sometimes we’re hit with questions that completely stump us. “What is one experience where you learned to work with someone different from yourself?” Especially when you’re on the spot, it’s easy to embellish or completely fabricate a story. Instead of waiting to be put on the spot, write yourself a cheat sheet of examples that you can pull out at any time.

What do you think? Where do you draw the line between putting your best foot forward and lying? Should a job seeker ever lie to get their foot in the door? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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