5 Most Common Lies Not to Tell on CVs & Resumes
With unemployment higher than ever, the pressure on job hunters seeking employment at home and overseas has never been higher and the competition has never been stiffer. Perhaps it’s understandable that in this economic climate job seekers will often misrepresent themselves or outright lie if they think it will improve their chance of getting the position that they have in their sights.
However, trust has become an even more valuable commodity as employers are hurting too. They want to hire in people that they know they can trust to do the right job and represent their company with integrity. Nothing can hurt your chances of employment than the discovery that you’ve put lies on your CV. What follows is a list of the 5 most common lies found on a CV, along with reasons why they should be avoided at all costs:
Job hunters will often lie about how much they were paid at their previous job. There are two potential reasons why they do this. The first could be to try and encourage the prospective employer to offer up a higher starting salary or other financial benefits in order to entice the applicant to accept. Alternatively, if the starting salary of the job in question is less than what the applicant claims they were previously earning, then it gives the impression that they are extra keen to work with that particular employer. While this might seem like an easy and credible lie to stick to, more employers will now make background checks into applicants’ professional history and can easily verify what they were previously earning and this even goes if you are applying for jobs abroad too. Unearthing this lie makes the applicant seem desperate and untrustworthy, which can scupper any chances of employment instantly.
2. Past Performance
It’s tempting to say that you once solved a seemingly insurmountable problem or to inflate the importance of your input on a vital project. While such anecdotal evidence of your abilities might be much harder to refute, it still doesn’t bode well for future. If you build yourself up to be an office superhero and claim outrageous results, guess what the employer is going to expect once you’re in the job? Building unreasonable expectations can lead to some uncomfortable truths that might see you out the door as quickly as you came in. If you are worried about your past experience you might like to apply for a paid internship program abroad.
So many candidates will simply rehash the prospective job specifications into their CV, regardless of whether they actually have those skills or not. This can be disastrous, as employers have become more discerning in their interview techniques and may well ask for demonstrations of certain skills. For technical roles such as IT jobs, this may take the form of a few simple problems to highlight and correct in a sample of programming language such as HTML. If you are unfamiliar with the code in question and your CV says you’re a natural, then it’s going to be highly embarrassing. You might want to consider voluntary work as a way to build up your skills or another option is to keep taking certifications for example having a TEFL certification course on your CV will look great to future employers.
4. Education and Qualifications
Again this would seem like a lie that’s easily swallowed. It’s not as if the interviewer can give you a quick spot test on A-level Chemistry or degree-level Ancient History. In order to appear more studious, some job hunters looking for anything from temping to specialist roles such as GIS jobs will “massage” their educational qualifications. Even worse, some will go so far as to obtain fake education credentials from spurious internet sites or lie about studying abroad, just in case vigilant employers do decide to make a background check. In both cases, this is a serious mistake. Employers can very easily discover the extent of your past performance by contacting the educational institution in question. As for fake degrees and diplomas, while there is a huge range of bogus sites offering them, employers are becoming wise to them. It doesn’t take too much digging to discover a fake “diploma mill” and doing so can cost you more than a job opportunity, it can lead to legal consequences too.
Claiming that you held a bigger role in a project that actually belonged to a superior is a lie that’s very easily uncovered. Employers will often talk to your direct supervisor as well as your overall employer and examples of past performances are bound to be discussed.