Should You Fabricate Your Experience?


DICETV: Heat waves, drought, and flooding have been in the news this summer… Here’s an interesting question from Virginia. Dear Cat, I’m an administrative assistant but I’ve been studying to become a business analyst. Should I mention my current duties in my resume or fabricate my work experience to change careers? Well Virginia…Oh. Virginia. Got it. I’ll answer your question during this monthly segment we like to call Ask Cat.

I’m Cat Miller and this is DiceTV.

No, Virginia, Santa Claus won’t bring you a new career or anything else if you fabricate your work history. Instead, highlight your transferable but relevant skills and college coursework to show reviewers why you’re qualified. Let’s walk through the process.

For starters, search entry-level BA positions on Dice and create a list of the most common requirements and keywords. Then, create a personal skills inventory and map your competencies to the major job requirements. That will help you tailor your resume.

Start your resume with an objective statement that emphasizes both your career objective and your value.

Then, include an overview of both your technical and non-technical skills, as well as recent coursework, so the reviewer can easily spot your qualifications.

Now, here’s the key. Summarize your professional experience under the three or four major competencies that are critical to the Business Analyst role. For example, highlight your analytical duties and knowledge of database architecture, but leave off unrelated administrative responsibilities like scheduling meetings or travel.

Conclude with a list of your paid and volunteer work experience, mentoring relationships, internships or class projects to show how you acquired the expertise.

No Virginia, you won’t need to fib to become a business analyst. Just create a forward-looking resume that highlights your newly acquired skills and transferable experience.

If you have a question for me please send it to And put “Ask Cat” in the subject line. I’m Cat Miller and this has been Dice TV and we now return you to your regular desktop.

2 Responses to “Should You Fabricate Your Experience?”

  1. Actually, I think fabrication is necessary . What we’re talking about is a situation where you can’t get a job, don’t have the experience to get the job you’d like or need and need to get that job anyway . To properly fabricate, say, PHP programming experience, you need to :

    1] learn PHP on your own
    2] create a basic website with some forms and a database
    3] download an opensource project like WordPress to learn how a “real” PHP application works
    4] embellish your actual non-PHP experience with PHP highlights
    5] pass some ( not all ) phone interviews for entry to mid-level PHP programmers
    6] do your best in the interviews you get
    7] profit!

    Fortunately, the preparation you’ve done in fabrication will actually prepare you to do the job you just got . Unfortunately, employers are not willing to accept that it does . Hence you have a “shortage”.

    • Well, this isn’t really fabrication if you describe it accurately. Go through these steps and you could say you have a basic knowledge of PHP and use the website and database to back it up. Even better, once you’ve done this, would be to find someone who wants this kind of site built to demonstrate you’ve done the work for someone besides yourself.