Just the Facts, Candidates, on Resumes

Article excerpt

"We're not talking about truth, we're talking about something that seems like truth -- the truth we want to exist."

In 2005, humorist Stephen Colbert introduced the word "truthiness" during the premiere episode of "The Colbert Report." His definition above describes his replacement for truth, a term he had planned to use in the broadcast but determined was not ridiculous enough for his brand of political satire.

It's also a concept that has found a home amid this year's election campaigning. Already we've seen that the truths some candidates want to exist about themselves may not necessarily correspond with reality. Such falsehoods, even seemingly innocuous ones, are a disservice to themselves and the people they wish to serve.

Those who run for office -- and anyone applying for a job -- know that self-promotion is a necessary part of the game. It's about putting your best foot forward. Human resources workers commonly deal with job seekers who bend the truth and embellish their accomplishments. A 2004 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management showed more than half of employers found inconsistencies on resumes in areas like previous employment and criminal records.

It's stunning to think this is happening in the digital age, when job candidates certainly must be aware that Internet searches can check awards, education, length of service and job titles. In addition, Illinois' Freedom of Information law offers the public access like never before, including negative records absent from resumes. …