Looking For Employment? Avoid These 4 Things

These days some companies use systems to scan resumes in search of keywords, and throw out any applications that don’t contain the key words before they have the chance to be seen by human eyes.

Your application may pass the key word test but to give yourself the best possible chance at landing the job do avoid these things

  • Lying about your previous responsibilities

When mentioning previous responsibilities simply and in brief describe or explain one or two real tasks that you had to complete and give details of specific challenges, describe the action that you took, and end by pointing out the results or impact of your efforts. Do not embellish what you’ve done in the past. If you didn’t do it, or don’t know how to use it, don’t list it.

If you lie, your lie will eventually start showing if you’re hired and expected to take on similar tasks and this will work against you if mistakes are made.

  • Exaggerating dates of employment.

Like lying about responsibilities and tasks do not lie or fudge your employment timeline. Yes, we keep being told that work experience is a big plus. And none or very little is not ideal but rather than make things up show your enthusiasm or interest in the position. Say what you will enjoy most about the work and what would make you successful in the position.

You may not have the experience but arming yourself with a basic understanding of the place you want to work and why this company is your go-to choice can make you stand out from the crowd. It will also show that you truly understand what the company does and what your role will be in it; and how your skills and abilities will fit the position or the needs of the work place.

  • Forging papers

Your level of education is usually represented by papers and if you do not have the certificate to back you do not hand in false papers. Forging is simply not worth the risk. Papers are easy to check and lying about any accomplishments can have serious consequences that can affect your entire professional future.

The process you go through to get hired can be nerve wracking and all sorts of thoughts go through your head but it is never a good idea and even if you’re tempted to do so to deviate from the truth. Telling the truth is always the best thing to do.

  • Venting about why you left your prior job

Venting means that the focus is on others, on how bad they were. And dishing dirt about former bosses or co-workers is really a quick way of not getting hired because what you are saying to your potential employer is that you will do the same to them when you leave.

Use tactful ways of explaining being fired or quitting abruptly; ways that do not have to involve venting or saying negative things about your former bosses. If you did already vent online know that your angry words can easily come back to haunt you and you may have damaged your reputation and you will be identified as the venting type whom nobody should hire!


A Zambian site sharing quick read articles around work, money and adulting life with selective interviews and quotes.
The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo