The Five Most Common Lies People Tell On Their CV
Picture this: it’s Tuesday lunch time, you’ve had a less than idealistic Tuesday morning, tensions are running high, someone has eaten your last Mueller Corner you left in the staff fridge last Friday. Worst Tuesday ever.
You’re scrolling through your news feed and there it is, your dream job is advertised. Perfect. The company benefits are extremely generous, the salary is competitive and it’s only a ten minute drive from your home – but there’s a catch. On paper you’re slightly under-qualified for the role, you haven’t quite got the experience they desire… Then you think to yourself – perhaps a couple of little white lie here and there will get me to the interview stage.
What could possibly go wrong? Oh, you’d be surprised…
One person who can vouch for how this is a terrible idea is Jon Andrews. Andrews was sentenced to two years in jail in 2016 after the NHS executive laid claim to two PhDs he neither had nor had any intention of obtaining.
The above anecdote is a very extreme example of how lying during the application process can have a detrimental impact your career (and your liberty in this case), but the message is still prominent – lying on your CV is not a good move.
Why have 52% of people admitted to telling lies on their CV? Naturally people want to strive for better opportunities, higher salaries and juicer staff benefits.
So which are the most common tales told to perspective employers?
Top of the class: Exaggerating education and fabricating degrees
We’ve already covered this one, but fabricating academia is absolutely one of the most frequently lied about areas on a CV. This will not only result in your P45 being hand delivered to you but will also most likely result in you being subject to legal action. It’s simply not worth the risk.
I’m an “entrepreneur”: Unexplained gaps and periods of “self employment”
You’ve taken a year or two out of employment to travel, to raise a family or maybe to pursue a business venture that didn’t quite take off? Great! Add that to your CV. However, getting creative with gaps and fictionalizing these gaps will only ever backfire on you – it might not result in jail time but you will certainly find yourself red faced.
The grey area: Leaving out employment
Have you ever left a job on bad terms? You might be tempted to just forget the whole debacle never happened and opt to leave that off the paper ween writing your CV. Whilst this is considered more being economical with the truth, it’s still likely to be viewed as being dishonest to employers so tread carefully.
Fake it till’ you make it: Falsifying credentials
Similar to lying about academia, this could potentially serve you a one way ticket to HMP.
Just don’t do it.
The ultimate and most common lie : Embellishing your experience
Whilst one of the key things to remember when writing your CV is to sell yourself, try not to over exaggerate your experience and success to the point that it’s no longer plausible. You may be offered the job if your manage to convince the interviewer that it’s all true, but it will more than likely become obvious once you start that it’s untrue.
The recurring theme through-out these lies is simple – dishonesty often leads to disaster. Be true to yourself. If it’s becoming apparent to you that you’re ready for your next career move but your experience or qualifications are holding you back, take a look into professional development. Ask your employer for further training, take on new responsibilities or research what qualifications will make you a suitable candidate.
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