Have you ever lied on your CV? Hopefully not, but plenty of people do. It can be tempting to exaggerate the truth on your CV but it’s never a good idea and the consequences can be quite severe.
If you’ve ever watched the Apprentice, you’ll know the format – each week, hopeful applicants face a new challenge and someone from the losing team gets fired. But alarmingly, in the penultimate week, what should have been the easiest challenge turned out to be the most difficult – the CV check and interview!
Five finalists faced guerrilla-like interrogators in pretty intense interview situations where their CVs were brutally scrutinised. Amazingly, it was discovered that one candidate had misrepresented her dates of employment, and another, her company’s takings. Whether these were genuine mistakes or not isn’t the issue: these embellishments – or lies – shouldn’t have appeared on their CVs in the first place.
There are now various ways of checking CV’s and more and more recruiters and businesses are using these types of agencies to verify peoples credentials. People lie on their CV for all sorts of reasons. Some of the most common ones are about university grades or falsely claiming they are earning a higher salary. Doctoring employment dates is another temptation. “People lie about their dates of employment which you can end in hanging yourself because you’ve forgetten your own lies,” says Craig Burton, “ You’ll always get found out. You get a feeling about a CV that something isn’t right and it always comes out in the end. Either that, or during the job interview the candidate forgets what lies they’ve written on their CV!”
With social media at the finger tips of all employers, it has become much easier for people to check not just on the claims of your experience, but also on the claims of your lifestyle and hobbies. So, it’s probably not a good idea to paint yourself as a gym going-book reader with pictures plastered of your all-night antics and party weekends on Facebook.
Here are some interesting facts about CV’s;
- 80% of all resumes are misleading.
- 29% state fraudulent degrees.
- 30% show altered employment dates.
- 40% have inflated salary claims.
- 30% have inaccurate job descriptions.
- 27% give falsified references.
CV’s are becoming the least reliable way of screening candidates with more and more people admitting to embellishing their credentials and skills. One Reddit user claimed to of lied about being fluent in 3 languages and reeling off the only 3 phrases he knew which did the trick at impressing the employer.
CV selection can also be skewed by the hiring manager. A CV might be tossed because of personal bias such as the font or bullet points used. On the other hand, a resume might be tossed in the “keep” pile simply because of participation in sports or community involvement.
There’s no getting away from the fact that writing your CV takes time and effort – you’re not going to impress anyone by lying or using lazy, tired clichés. “Most people don’t sell themselves properly on their CV,” says Craig. “Then they can’t find any other way to look good other than lying.”
So, stick to the truth, but just word it in the right way – simple really! For more CV tips, check out our other posts here on The Works blog page or to speak to us about how we screen our candidates contact a member of our team.