Lying on your CV (Hugh Joslin)

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, 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making provisional job offers – and when references fail to check out, this almost always leads to job offers being withdrawn.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…

150 cookie baskets…(Stuart Brill)

News that a recruiting firm sent 150 cookie baskets to a company whose employees they were headhunting isn’t, in terms of tactics at least, overly surprising. However the phenomenon is worthy of comment and one that, working as I do in a competitive market (medical writing jobs), I can certainly relate to.

As we make our first steps away from possible economic recovery, are we going to see competition hotting up for the top candidates? And what should we do about it?

This is a discussion that could go on forever but I would to add a curveball that that it is short-sighted to view candidates abilities in this manner. Only in a very few cases (and I’m not sure entry-level IT geekery is one) are feasible candidates in such short supply. Instead it turns out that hiring companies are too narrow in their requirements. For example, the implicit assumption in this article is that in order to work in a Silicon Valley start-up you have to have done so previously. Really? Are serial job-hoppers the best people to launch the next ‘big thing’? Or are there vast talent pools out there as yet untapped because HR want to see a brand name they recognise on CVs? In this scenario recruiters will squeal ‘but I must know which direction the market is going so that I may lead it!’. So who will be the first to jump? Recruiters, clients or will the vast swathes of un(der)employed graduates go out and proclaim: Death to cookie basket recruitment!  

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Candidate Survey Says Recruiters Give Great Customer Service.

The Global Online Recruitment Resources published an interesting survey result on the customer service of recruitment agencies. “There is a common misconception that the level of customer service given from most recruitment agencies is poor; according to some it’s almost non-existent. In a recent survey from leading executive job site the number of people who think otherwise proves exactly the opposite.

In a poll conducted during January the specialist executive recruitment website asked more than two thousand candidates “How would you rate the overall standard of customer service provided by recruitment agencies today?” The majority of those surveyed (57%) voted either ‘Excellent’, ‘Very Good’ or ‘Good’ demonstrating most experiences are positive. 23% of respondents voted ‘Average’ followed by only 20% voting ‘Poor’.”

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Did Greg Smith Commit Career Suicide? (Audley Swain)

When Greg Smith decided to write a scathing op-ed piece that ran in the New York Times yesterday, blasting his employer, Goldman Sachs, for sacrificing its clients’ best interest in favour of maximum profits, he violated a cardinal rule of career advancement: Do not bad-mouth your former employer!

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