Embellishing Resume Bullet Points

I was an SA at a smaller RE investing firm, I helped analysts with a bunch of different shit and got some "exposure" to deals and underwriting, but I was mostly doing research for future acquisitions and finding comps. I ended on great terms with all of the team but I wish I had taken more initiative and got modeling experience.

The urge to say I did real modeling and underwriting (which I didn't) on my resume is hard to resist. I definitely have the knowledge to back it up in CRE and REPE interviews. The only issue I could see happening is if my background check called my old firm and asked them if I specifically did those things during the summer there. I bet that whoever they talked to would end up supporting me but it would probably leave a bad taste in their mouth about me. 

I guess what I'm trying to ask is, do people embellish their resume bullet points much? It's obviously unethical but is it worth it/ok to do? Thanks, I embellished to get my current internship in capital markets this summer and passed my background check so now I'm thinking about FT recruitment.

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Comments (5)

May 10, 2022 - 2:05pm
kodi, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I have been a line manager for a while now and the amount of positive reinforcement on resumes is enormous.
1) It doesn't take a lot to fudge here and there to look better, the risk of getting caught is not as high as most applicants think
2) Former employers (depending on country or state) are often bound by law what they are allowed to say. Most will only confirm employment dates and title, not even the compensation (as it is not permitted to disclose this in some states)
3) I have seen applicants create entire personas and lives, with complete fake jobs, fake employers, fake titles, etc.. for decades even.

I don't recommend that people do this, if you are caught, chances are high you will be fired on the spot.

Most Helpful
May 10, 2022 - 2:30pm
redever, what's your opinion? Comment below:

So, there is a big difference from "framing to one's best advantage" and "lying", I think "embellishing" sits somewhere in the middle with a grey line defined differently for many tbh. 

In your situation.... Being a "SA" for what I'd assume just a matter of months pretty much limits the edges of whatever you put on a resume.... its an internship, temp experience.... people know what those are, you won't really get too far "embellishing" at this stage of your career.

That said.... stating that you "assisted in modeling and underwriting" for the XYZ team is probably accurate and true. If asked how, you describe researching comps and supporting the analysts. I would see that type of stuff as "framing" and something expected of SAs. People who claim to have "ran the deal" as an SA will likely be laughed off. 

TBH, the only value in this is getting the keywords on the resume/linkedin to help with the keyword searches done by HR/recruiters. A real person reading your resume will probably figure out the context, and any word games here won't help much. Most firms have people working on teams, this is clearly known/understood, as is what people likely do at various levels. To the extent it's not obvious.... they ask questions in interviews. 

I will agree with the above poster that the "risk" of getting caught is minimal (unless the person at the hiring friends just happens to be a really good friend with a person at the other firm, and that person didn't like you and wants to bomb you, and in all reality.... that is sooooo rare). The real risk is you feeling unconfident about your resume and getting questioned on it in an interview..... you are the one most likely to fuck it up but seeming less than confident. So, I'd just put what you can feel confident about defending in an interview. Like most things..... this is supremely over thinking it, your exp. with what you did is FINE, don't think it's not good enough!

May 13, 2022 - 10:48am
soupymessy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you're going to lie about modeling then make sure you know how to model, or you might get fired anyway.

A guy applied for a high position at a friend's company. Had a masters in engineering, very charismatic in the interviews. He was hired. Nobody looked too hard into his background, and so he was plugging away until a month later when the engineers on his team realized he had no idea what the fuck he was doing. It turns out he didn't have a masters degree in engineering. In fact he didn't have a masters degree at all. The point is, if you're going to embellish, don't give them a reason to dig deeper. Don't even admit this 6 months down the line when people like you. You never know who is a snitch.

May 13, 2022 - 11:38am
CREnadian, what's your opinion? Comment below:

As long as you can ACTUALLY model I don't see an issue with it (i.e. enough to pass any modeling test, not necessarily build an institutional quality model from scratch).

Employers know 99% of resumes have embellishment. As long as you aren't claiming something you can't back up it doesn't matter.

May 13, 2022 - 12:22pm
Ozymandia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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