The Cost of Overstating Your Resume

MBA applicants may be familiar with the theoretical benefits of overstating one’s accomplishments. After all, the purpose of a resume is to pitch oneself by highlighting strengths and accomplishments. It may be tempting to overstate or “creatively describe” one’s accomplishments on business school applications.

Denise Palmieri recently wrote an interesting article about “puffing” your GPA on your resume.  While her article was more focused on using the resume for a job application, the issue is the same.  Most MBA applicants know that several MBA programs have taken steps to ensure that applicants are not misrepresenting themselves by fudging basic facts in their applications.  Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, Kellogg, Stern, and Haas (to name a few) all conduct application verification, and reserve the right to deny admission if a material misrepresentation is discovered. Several of these schools outsource the task of credential verification.

Beyond the fact that you might get “caught”, isn’t it best to start off this type of experience through being admitted on your own merits?  At the end of the day, it really is best to be in a place where you belong and are accepted for who you truly are.

Denise Palmieri states the bottom line well: “a firing in your work history, or a puffed salary, can cost you a job offer or cause your subsequent firing. The best plan is to learn how to be comfortable in your own skin with who you are, your experience to date and what you can offer. Honesty really IS the best policy.”

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