For a whole bunch o’ reasons, it’s important to tell the truth on your apps. Even if it seems simpler to bend things. Fudging is really great when you’re baking a cake or some brownies, but not so great in your apps.
Here’s what we shared with a BSer when we saw this potentially happening in the materials they were submitting to us for review:
A little concerned about why your resume did not have the accurate title on it already? You need to be much more attentive to THE TRUTH. Please do not bend the facts in anything that you submit to the adcoms – or to us. We take a very strict stance on ethics and it’s important. It may seem like an innocent change, but “Business Associate” and “Business Consultant” create a different impression for the reader. We’re not accusing you of intentionally lying, but we are reminding you that everything needs to be 100% accurate and exactly true.
So yes, the actual title that you held needs to be on the resume.
You don’t need to use that title in the essay (though you could) – you just need to be clear what your role was and which job it was, so identifying it by timeframe or some way for the reader to map the story in the essay to the position on the resume is important.
You can’t hold two titles at the same time (at least, not usually – there are exceptions like “Founder and CEO”). You can perform multiple tasks under one title but no, you need to stick with the truth of how the past transpired.
This person was trying to get creative in how they were presenting their information, and they clearly thought that the changes made were copacetic. But nah, not when they change how the admissions reader will be interpreting things.
It’s kinda rare that people lie outright in their apps — though it certainly does happen! We’re hoping that that won’t happen with you, because it’s really not OK to be doing that, and we talk about the importance of ethics often enough here on the blahg that presumably, those reading these snarky comments are already self-selecting to be the honorable type.
We get it, there are so many pressures going into this process, and it may seem like a victimless crime to be switching things around or doing one of those small misrepresentations. But the stakes are high, and it’s actually pretty likely you’ll be caught out. When someone is rejected because the adcom sniffed out the inconsistencies on the application, the applicant is never informed of the reason. (If someone is booted after they were admitted, then yeah, you’ll know in a jiffy what went down to cause that — and yes that does happen fairly regularly, sometimes revealed publicly, other times only in cryptic ways such as this.)
Honest to goodness, you don’t need to lie to get in.