Integrity Starts on Your Application

by sysop in Applying for a Job, Looking for a Job

by Kristina Burroughs

In the world of recruiting, hiring managers place a very high value on one particular quality in their employees: integrity. Integrity is adhering to moral and ethical principles – and that begins with being honest on your application. There are far too many great candidates who make the wrong choices on their resume to enhance job titles, fudge GPAs, or graduation dates. These small errors, whether intentional or not, will hinder your chances of being hired, even if you are fortunate enough to receive a pending offer upon background check.


The details do matter and your potential employer’s HR department will likely catch the error. At that point, your personal integrity is perceived as questionable. Here are 3 important tips for maintaining your integrity throughout the application process:

  1. DON’T RUSH: If you’re not sure you received your official transcripts from your educational institutions, this is not the time to make an educated guess about your previous coursework!  Even if it’s an honest mistake, the back ground check company or your potential employer won’t look favorably upon you if you provide false information.
  2. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE YOUR COVER LETTER: Most job applicants are afraid of being sifted through by automated processes or recruiters – and there’s truth to that. According to an article in Business Insider, recruiters take about 6 seconds with your resume to scan it for key qualifiers. However, if you are honest about your qualifications, you are more likely to be considered. Your qualifications, career experiences, and journey are unique to you and the right opportunity will eventually reward you
  3. DON’T OVERSELL YOURSELF: Another mistake of integrity is to oversell yourself on paper, only to find out in the interview that you lack professionalism or the ability to articulate how you have done the things you claimed on paper. Come to an in-person interview ready with real world examples about how you’ve done the things you’ve outlined on your resume.

The bottom line for job explorers is to value your integrity from the application to the interview. Recruiters want to help you but they are less willing to help someone who lacks integrity. They are responsible to their clients for putting the best talent forward. Their name is attached to yours when they pass your resume along.

What do you think about the topic of integrity?  Have you ever thought about integrity from that angle?