You’ve read about so many famous people who didn’t tell the whole truth in their biographies. Maybe they weren’t REALLY the CEO of their company, or the “All-American” sports player. We’ve all heard of the doctors who really weren’t or the specialists who “bought” their degrees.” Maybe it has all just snowballed because here in America, we don’t believe that “embellishing” our expertise is lying. We believe that it’s “putting our best foot forward.”

So how do you determine what is just the right amount of “tooting your own horn” without crossing the line? Here are some ways to avoid the “embellishment trap”.

1. If you are currently pursuing a program at a college or university, don't state that you already have the degree or diploma. Tell the truth – pursuing a degree is a fine endeavor and shows that you are a lifelong learner. If an employer discovers that you lied about a degree – and they DO check – you will not be hired if you have falsified the information.

2. If you worked on a project as part of a team, be clear about it. Don't give the employer the impression you did it all alone. But DO take specific credit for your part in the project.

3. Definitely mention all your achievements, but don’t claim any that aren’t the truth.

4. Be cautious when quantifying your results – don’t exaggerate the percentage of increase in profits you brought to a company, but don’t hold back the truth.

You resume is the only place where you get to brag about your accomplishments. As long as you tell the truth, why shouldn’t you brag? It’s what will set you apart from your competitors.

Author's Bio: 

Stefanie Spikell, owner of two companies, Expert Resumes and Clear Communications Business Consulting, is a noted business/careers coach, management consultant and resume writer. In her 20-year career, she has managed marketing communications departments for major engineering firms, taught at the university level, published hundreds of business-related reports and articles, and written thousands of winning resumes. She can be contacted at