Why you should never lie in your CV

Why you should never lie in your CV

Upping that degree from a 2:2 to a 2:1. Hmm, tempting. Fudging the start date of an employment to conceal a gap. Why not…it was a long time ago now. These are just two of many typical lies that people tell in their CV. In a survey by Reed Screening, they found that dates of employment were the most common lies followed by exam grades and job titles. The survey also found that 1 in 4 applications could not be progressed through information that could not be confirmed or backed up. Another survey by UK Higher Education Degree Datacheck found that 33% of graduates falsify information in their CV. So clearly, lots of people are telling porkies in their CV.

When is it okay to lie in a CV?

People can justify to themselves the reasons for lying in a CV easily enough. ‘Well, if everyone else is doing it’ or ‘the chances of being found out are so small’. However, it is always better to be open and upfront in a CV. Even what one might consider a small thing, such as upping an exam grade could have potentially huge consequences. This could be a dismissible offence. For serious lies, legal action could follow. So, it’s best never to lie in a CV.

Think how to improve your CV without lying

You want the reader to have a positive experience in reading your CV as you guide them towards saying ‘yes’ to calling you to interview. You can do this without resorting to lies. In your career history, write about your achievements rather than just listing a series of duties or responsibilities. Employers want to see evidence of you working well so show them specific examples of achievements and support these with facts and figures. Tailor the CV towards the role as far as possible and structure it to get as much of the important information as you can onto the first page.

Inadvertent inaccuracies

Not all lies are intentional of course. Your CV may have a genuine error. However, remember that you are accountable for all the information in your CV, so double and triple check everything. It is also worthwhile making sure information between your CV and LinkedIn profile is consistent too. People sometimes have dates that are not aligned or use different job titles between their CV and LinkedIn profile. At best this is confusing to the reader so don’t give them any reason to raise an unwanted question mark in their head.