CV and Resume Lies - Should You Tell Them?
By: Catherine Jones
The job market is nothing if not competitive these days. How can you present yourself to prospective employers in a way which will make you stand out?
A lot of people will tell you that the way to do this is to tell CV and resume lies.
Studies show that as many as 75% of resumes contain some sort of dishonesty or exaggeration in them. Many are of the opinion that they can either stretch the truth or lie outright when looking for work. A lot of jobseekers think that most employers will be too busy to investigate all of the facts stated on their resume.
Statistically, the group most prone to making misstatements of fact on their resume is women in their thirties, constituting over 33%. Coming in second is men in their twenties.
Why do people tell CV and resume lies?
Most feel that this will help them make a better impression and stand out to prospective employers. But if these lies and exaggerations are found out, they may not be hired and may even damage their reputation.
This is not only a moral issue – it can be a legal issue as well:
If employers find that there is misleading or false information on a resume or CV, the offer of employment can be withdrawn as long as they have not begun the job yet.
If this is found out after the person has already been hired, the employer has the right to dismiss them. If the employer is listed as a reference, they are allowed to tell prospective employers calling for a reference that the employee was fired for deception – which can make it quite difficult for them to secure another job.
What are the things which are most often exaggerated or lied about on resumes? Most CV or resume lies are about dates of employment listed (making the applicant look as if they were employed by a given company for longer than was actually the case). These dates may be adjusted to cover gaps in employment and of course, salaries are often listed as being much higher than they actually were, by as much as 35%!
Even more serious is listing phoney degrees on your resumes. Some people will even produce faked diplomas which are very convincing – when the jobseeker has not even attended that school! This is an offense which is nearly certain to result in termination.
If you are unsure how to best present yourself on your resume, don't make things up. Use the services of a professional to write a resume instead.
You could also talk to someone who you look up to and ask them how they put together their resume.
Telling CV and resume lies should be avoided at all costs so you don't have to worry about the negative consequences which can result if you are found out putting misleading information on your resume.
Here’s more help creating a resume if you need it.
Catherine Jones is a leading authority on recruitment and, with 3 colleagues, has written a how to snag a job website in which she shares her secrets on getting hired.
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