Re: Lying

Subject: Re: Lying
From: Dawn Langley <CDLangley -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 1997 23:14:15 -0500

In a message dated 97-02-21 18:10:40 EST, dcma -at- MAIL1 -dot- NAI -dot- NET writes:

<< In case you're wondering, I have never lied on a resume, because I could
not endure the humiliation of getting caught. I don't lie in interviews,
either, which is why I often don't get the job.>>

I refrain from lying on resumes and contend that's a partial cause of my
unemployment in this field (I have a job, but it isn't in tw, unfortunately).
I've been passed over for several potential tw jobs because I lacked
knowledge of just one of several programs. I could've lied and attempted to
obtain the job under false pretenses, but I chose not to because 1) lying is
unethical, 2) if I were an employer, I wouldn't want to unwittingly hire an
unqualified applicant, and 3) it saves time for the involved parties -- time
I would otherwise fritter away conjuring erroneous skills/experience and time
the employer would squander interviewing (and perhaps hiring/subsequently
firing) an unqualified applicant.

I refrain from lying during interviews, also, but will concede that the
interview process grants a window of opportunity to "stretch the truth."
While resumes are based on facts, opinions are a significant part of the

Interviewer: "So, do you think you can do the job?"
Me: "I'm not sure, but I will certainly try my best."
The interviewer's smile inverts, betraying his disappointment. A death knell
tolls faintly in the background.
Interviewer (curtly): "That will be all, thank you."

I hope this example illustrates more than the reason why I shirked creative
writing. Employers respond positively to high confidence levels and often
mistake such honesty for incompetence or a lack of confidence. They want to
hear: "YES, I KNOW I CAN!!!" But sometimes trying has to proceed knowing...som
etimes I don't know if I can perform a particular task or successfully learn
a new program until I try. I've been vilified by friends and cohorts who
believe that expressing equivocation or hesitancy during an interview is
tantamount to saying: "Please don't hire me. I r-r-r-really don't want this
job." Their point is valid to an extent. While I'm "not sure" but constantly
pledge to "try my best," the job is usually granted to the individual who
"knows" he or she can -- even if that knowledge is actually the stretched
truth in disguise.

Nevertheless, I'm extremely confident in my estimation of my writing
abilities and technological competence. If I distort that judgment to
accommodate the situation (whether it be on paper or in person), then I am
disrespecting myself and my prospective employer...and lying. When it
concerns the job hunt, I function with two bottom lines: If I'm sure or
unsure, I'll tell you; if I know I can or can't, I'll tell you. I don't
believe in throwing my principles into the fire and praying that prospective
employers won't see through the smoke.

Dawn Langley, MA

TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
Search the archives at or search and
browse the archives at

Previous by Author: WIN95 advice
Next by Author: Re: "Dissin" the English Language (was Re: Lying)
Previous by Thread: Lying
Next by Thread: Re: Lying

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads