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Ethical Behaviour, Honesty Pays

© Copyright 2003. Tara West 

Honest is defined in the Collins English Dictionary as:

“1. not given to lying, cheating, stealing, etc.; trustworthy.  2. not false or misleading; genuine.”

with honesty being: “1. the condition of being honest.”

When I think of honesty, immediately a quote springs to mind: “Too honest for your own good.”  Only because this is what I'm often told!  It is a quote which should be obliterated, as it has a negative connotation and honesty should be never be interpreted as something negative!  I believe it’s far better to be honest and wake up every morning proud of who you are, rather than, say, steal another’s intellect.  What person would you then be?  Not you – you would be an impersonator.  Your achievements would not be your own.

This behaviour extends to one’s resume (or job application).  Honesty always pays.  You should never mislead with your resume or state facts which just aren’t true.  You will eventually be caught.

From an employers viewpoint there would be nothing worse than receiving an application which was full of empty promises and lies.  

The employer ecstatically employs this super duper person who, they believe, will do this and do that in such a magnificent way – only to find they’ve hired a dud!  “What happened?!” they exclaim in dismay. 

Well, for starters the person overstated their achievements by about 200%, didn’t quantify others (and the employer just accepted it on face value), and they provided phoney referees!  That’s right… the referees supplied all had mobile numbers, and when the employer rang he thought they were legit!  Ouch.  This happens!  Of course, thumbs down to the employer who didn’t bother checking out the applicant in a thorough manner.

Of course, I'm not saying you should be meek about marketing your true potential.  On the contrary.  State your strengths with conviction; but state them with a high degree of honesty.  And let your personality shine!

When writing your covering letter, selection criteria, or resume, never:

  • Overstate (or exaggerate) facts – be truthful about your accomplishments.  You may think they are relatively minor, but they may be just what an employer is looking for.

  • Blatantly lie – when it comes to the crunch how are you going to back up those statements?

It’s that simple.  With honest documents you’ll get a lot further – in the long run – than Joe Blow who has two front teeth missing because he’s forever lying through them.

“The man who succeeds above his fellow is the one who early in life, clearly discerns his object, and towards that object habitually directs his powers.  Even genius itself is but fine observation strengthened by fixity of purpose. Every man who observes vigilantly and resolves steadfastly grows unconsciously into genius. -- Edward George Bulwer-Lytton (1803 - 1873)



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Tara West is co-author in Living an Abundant Life. Other authors include inspirations such as Jack Canfield and Brian Tracy.
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