Here is a cautionary tale. Keen to secure his first job, a school leaver had applied for a position with one of the biggest employers in his area. During the interview, when asked about his qualifications, he confessed that he had made some of them up. When questioned further, he admitted that he did not have the professional diploma needed to take this role, nor did he have some of the A-levels he’d listed on his CV. He then went on to explain to the interviewer that he didn’t really need those qualifications, as he knew he could do the job as well as anyone else. His prospective boss disagreed, immediately terminated the interview and asked him to leave. When the young jobseeker protested, he was escorted from the building by security personnel.
While many adjust their CV to make use of persuasive language, some jobseekers choose to cross the line between self-marketing and lying.
Indeed, according to a 2006 survey from jobs website CareerBuilder.com, more than half (57%) of employers admit to finding lies on candidates’ applications. In almost every single case (93% of the time), these applicants were rejected. A more recent survey by Callcredit Direct found that, of the people who admitted to lying on their CVs, a third said they had fabricated qualifications. Although CV deception can be missed at the interview stage, they are most often discovered when employers check references after making provisional job offers – and when references fail to check out, this almost always leads to job offers being withdrawn. These days, with many employers conducting CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checks unmentioned criminal convictions are easily exposed – in the worst-case scenarios, conjuring up false references and qualifications can lead to conviction for deception and fraud.
To sum up, employers are getting increasingly skilled at separating fact from fiction and falsehood on CVs. By all means make the most of the opportunity to sell yourself on your CV, but don’t be tempted to drift into downright deception. While this might just land your dream job it could well lead to something much more serious…