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Received a job offer for a graduate position and it was stated on the offer letter that the offer will be conditional upon a satisfactory "security screening". It also mentioned that any false statements will lead to dismissal.

I just checked and realised that some of my employment dates were inaccurate - shortened/ lengthened (I was providing a guesstimate when applying).

I also dressed up/ exaggerated on my positions and achievements of responsibilities in extra curricular activities, as well as achievements at work. Some were quite big exaggerations (i.e. false statements).

Should I be worried that I could lose the offer/ fail the screening? I am very paranoid and regret this, not sure what to do.

marked as duplicate by David K, Dukeling, IDrinkandIKnowThings, gnat, jcmack Sep 5 '18 at 22:45

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    Regarding employment dates, they're probably just checking to make sure that you held that job at all; a date being slightly inaccurate in one direction or another is not a big deal. If you made outright false statements about your work achievements, that's more serious. I'm not sure how carefully they'll vet things like that. – TheSoundDefense Sep 5 '18 at 19:49
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    What level of security screening are we talking about? Background check? Financial firm? DoD Security Clearance? – cdkMoose Sep 5 '18 at 20:42
  • @cdkMoose That is why I am asking. It said 'security screening'. I applied for a graduate role. I don't know if it is background check or if they checked employment. – magenta333 Sep 5 '18 at 21:24
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    @magenta333 not sure what a “graduate position” is. Is that a first job for a recent graduate? Or an academic position? The tougher the screening level the more likely those false statements will hurt you. If employer is working with the government that could be the most stringent check – cdkMoose Sep 5 '18 at 21:31
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I just checked and realised that some of my employment dates were inaccurate - shortened/ lengthened (I was providing a guesstimate when applying).

I also dressed up/ exaggerated on my positions and achievements of responsibilities in extra curricular activities, as well as achievements at work. Some were quite big exaggerations (i.e. false statements).

Should I be worried that I could lose the offer/ fail the screening?

It's your decision to worry or not worry.

Some companies in some industries are very thorough - thorough enough to detect lies. And many companies will not hire applicants who they determine have lied.

I am very paranoid and regret this, not sure what to do.

There isn't much you can do about it at this point. It's mostly out of your hands.

You could admit your lies and hope they don't care and hire you anyway. You could withdraw your acceptance and seek a new job (either after admitting your lies or not). You could say nothing and hope for the best.

I suspect most in your position would do the latter.

You should probably start to think about what you will say if they ask you about the discrepancies between what you wrote and what they find out.

One thing you can easily do is correct your resume and avoid lying in the future. That part is completely within your control.

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1) Will it affect your possibility of employment and possibly lose you the job offer? Depends on how deeply the employer checks. If they ask the right people the right questions and it turns out you weren't honest in your resume, then they might retract their offer. This is the danger that comes with lying on your resume.

2) What should you do? Nothing, for now. The damage has already been done; going back to the company and saying "by the way I lied to you a bunch" is a surefire way to definitely lose the job offer. Basically, for now, just hope they don't call your bluff and maybe you get away with it. As for next time, I would go back to your resume and take all that stuff off that you didn't really do. Every company does a background check to some degree, and you are just doing yourself a disservice by lying on your resume.

  • Some of my employment dates (all short term and less than half a year as I am graduate) were wrong. e.g. June was written 'June - July'. April to aug was written 'March to Aug'. I made four such mistakes, though some were more than five years ago. I am guessing basic screening will check employment dates. Is this a big source of concern? If I take this job I am giving up my current one (resign)... I don't know if it is too risky. – magenta333 Sep 5 '18 at 20:26
  • OK so realistically it's probably not a huge deal, although you should probably still not do that. The gain is the company thinks you have 4 months more experience than you actually have (relatively little in the grand scheme), the downside is you might look untrustworthy and lose a job offer. Is it worth it? – Ertai87 Sep 5 '18 at 20:36
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    As for resigning from your current job, do not resign until you have the letter signed, sealed, and delivered, unconditionally. Until the conditions are met and you are sure you have everything good to go, do not quit your current job. – Ertai87 Sep 5 '18 at 20:37

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