• Avoid pitfalls of exaggerating, lying in job search

    Exaggeration is human nature. We exaggerate about how happy we are to see a show, or how scared we are to encounter a minor traffic accident. Those exaggerations fill our life with drama and excitement, attracting more attention when we are in conversations. However, when it comes to recounting our own accomplishment on resume, we need to think twice about exaggerating. 

    Brian Williams, the iconic NBC news anchor, was suspended for six months by the news organization after lying about riding in a military helicopter that was struck by a grenade during the Iraq war. Not only has Williams’ reputation plummeted, but NBC is also being viewed as an organization that violates the trust of its viewers. Once that trust is broken, it may never return. 

    It is easy enough for us to fudge the facts on our resume, changing a grade from a “B” to an “A” in a marketing class, listing proficiency in Photoshop when we've only used the software once, saying we did more on a project than we actually did. Unfortunately, those seemingly small issues will work against us in the long term. 

    “If an employer finds discrepancies on a resume … that’s pretty much grounds for termination,” Debbie Kubena said. Kubena is the director of communication career services in the Moody College of Communication and has worked in career advising for more than 20 years. 

    Of course, not everyone will get caught. But those who do can suffer serious consequences. In 2014, Walmart’s top company spokesman, David Tovar, claimed he had a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware, when in fact he did not. He was forced to resign after his lie was exposed. 

    According to research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, 53 percent of individuals lie about a “fact” on their resume. In the same study, it pointed out that more than 70 percent of college students lie on their resume just to land their dream job. 

    Those numbers are staggering. For employers, it is not difficult to spot fuzzy numbers and fabrications. A recent grad’s resume with more experience than an internship should lead to questions. 

    If you find yourself exaggerating on your resume, be sure to make an appointment with your college's Career Services, where professional staff can help you craft a strong resume that impressively and honestly trumpets your achievements. If it's a good fit, there's no need to stretch the truth and your qualifications will eventually speak for you. 

    Liu is an associate editor.

  • Texas Revue

  • What is the real goal in Iran, democratization or denuclearization?

    Democracy can be seen as a process or as a product. The product does not always follow the process. It’s possible for a country to vote a radical, oppressive regime into office democratically. This is an idea that characterizes American diplomacy. The question is always, will this foster a democratic outcome?

    America has a past of providing financial, technical and arms support to undemocratic governments and guerillas to protect its national security or economic interests. This doesn’t necessarily mean that America is the antagonist. It’s more complex than that. Mutual benefit is necessary for sustainable diplomacy.

    The nuclear deal with Iran, the focus of Jeremi Suri’s most recent column, sounds simple: Iran will stop (or limit) its production of nuclear weapons if we trade with it. This means more economic opportunity for Iran and the protection of American national security interests.

    Both sides benefit, but the implications of this agreement must be considered. It’s not just about opening markets; it’s about changing the relationship between the United States and Iran. The United States can use this economic relationship as a carrot to encourage greater transparency in the Iranian government. It could also use it as a tool of coercion. The agreement opens a possibility for Iran to become dependent on trade with the U.S., or vice versa. This entanglement is likely to happen and will influence our actions and reactions to Iran.

    So then, through increased cooperation with Iran, are we trying to quell potentially dangerous nuclear activity or foster democratic values in the country? If the latter, are we concerned with the process or the product? We are walking a fine line between cooperation and control. Many times, we, as a country, have not been able to answer these questions, and as a result, we have seen undemocratic outcomes.

    The bottom line is, we need to cooperate with Iran. This deal marks a huge geopolitical realignment in the Middle East. It’s important, but in the right context. Western “moral self-righteousness and military force,” as Suri puts it, have produced unsatisfactory results before. We should maintain that U.S.-Iran “cooperation” remains just that — cooperation. And we can do so by being careful not to affront Iranian sovereignty in the future.  

    Shah is a business and government sophomore from Temple.

  • Pre-K improvements bill a step in the right direction

    On Wednesday, Texas House Bill 4 — otherwise known as the early education bill — passed with a 129-18 vote. The bill, filed by Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston, would give roughly $130 million in extra funding to schools across Texas if they implement certain improvements to their pre-kindergarten programs. Schools would have to adopt certain curriculum and teacher quality standards in their pre-kindergarten programs as well as a "parent engagement plan, " according to the Texas Tribune.  

    Huberty was reported as saying, "I want to make sure that we do the right thing for our little kids” when he was confronted by opposition that claimed the program sought to serve more children than those already eligible, namely disadvantaged children and those from military families. And even though education groups have criticized the plan for not going far enough because it did not make any attempt to restore a $200 million pre-K grant program lawmakers gutted in 2011, or require/fund a full-day pre-K program, the bill is still a step in the right direction.  

    When Gov. Greg Abbott took office in January, he named early education an emergency item for the legislative session — this bill is certainly a display of that sentiment, as well as a signal to representatives that measures will be taken to improve the reputation of Texas' education system as a whole. While the bill won't magically solve all of Texas' problems, it sets a much-needed precedent for academic accountability. If the correct measures are taken to prevent the expansion of government that skeptics predicted would be a result of the bill, there is the possibility for bipartisan unification in the Capitol — at least over education issues. 

    Berkeley is an associate editor.