Of course, everyone lies! We lie to the guy in the coffee shop about how great our day is going, we lie to our colleagues about the exciting plans we have for the weekend that don’t really exist, and we lie to ourselves after having a McDonalds that we’ll work off the extra calories by going to the gym the next day. These are all little white lies we tell ourselves and other people multiple times a day that doesn't matter, so why would lying on a CV be any different?
We see CVs day in day out and some have been embellished in one way or another adding an exciting hobby here or fancy job title there. And we get it! We really do, it’s a tough market out there so we understand the need to stand out from the crowd but is it worth it when it could come back to haunt you.
In this day and age anyone can find out anything about you if they look hard enough, and that includes any potential employers and more often enough us recruiters. So that seemingly insufficient white lie you thought couldn’t do any harm, could, in fact, have more serious career repercussions than you thought. A survey done by CareerBuilder back in 2014 found that 58% of hiring managers said they’ve caught a lie on a resume and half of the employers said that they would automatically dismiss a candidate if they caught a lie on his/her resume. With the top three lies being embellished skills, exaggerated responsibilities and dates of employment.
Being in this line of work we’ve encountered our fair share of false claims on CVs and they nearly ALWAYS get found out in the end. For example, remember when you added that you enjoy taking part in marathons on your CV? No big deal you thought, it made you sound more interesting and someone who had a healthier lifestyle than in actual reality. Fast-forward to your final interview for your dream job which it turns out is with someone who has completed the London marathon twice and is very much looking forward to conversing about your shared passion! Cue the most awkward interview you’ve ever had.
It’s not just us masses that lie on CVs, take Scott Thompson, the former CEO of Yahoo. Back in 2012, Thompson was fired after only 5 months in the job when it came to light that he had, in fact, lied on this resume. He claimed that he had both computer science and accounting degrees, when in fact he only had the latter!
Obviously, Thompson’s lie was more serious than our example, but the result is still the same, serious career repercussions. Both lies cost the chance at a dream job, as well as damaging creditability as a working professional. Once an employer finds out you have lied even about the smallest thing your bridges are most definitely burnt!
Our advice to you, don’t lie, at least not on your CV and not to your recruiter! Lying to us won't help you get that dream job any faster. In fact, it makes the process longer as we’ll spend time all our time finding a role your CV claims is right for you when in reality another is far better suited. It’s far better to be truthful with us so we can really help you with your next career move.
Honesty in our opinion when on the job hunt is always the best policy!