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Friday, February 27, 2015

5 Common Lies in CVs to Avoid

It’s only natural to want to present yourself as the best candidate for a job you’re applying for. But, as tempting as it may be to stretch the truth (or even outright lie) on your resume, you may find yourself standing out for all the wrong reasons. Below you’ll find five of the most common resume lies that recruiters see.

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1. Employment Dates

Whether you’re trying to hide a gap in employment or over inflate your experience in a role, fudging dates on your resume rarely goes unnoticed by recruiters. Date lies usually come unstuck either in a reference check or when you can’t substantiate your ‘long work history’ in the role. Be honest – whether you were traveling, unemployed or raising a family, gaps on your resume don’t automatically mean being overlooked for a position, but getting caught out in a lie almost definitely does.

 

2. Why You Left a Previous Role

You don’t actually need to put your reason for leaving your last job on your resume, but don’t think that you can lie by omission either because it will almost definitely come up as a topic in an interview. If you’re not sure how to explain being fired or leaving on bad terms, consider approaching a jobs agency like the Chandler Macleod Group to get some help with applying for new positions.

 

3. Qualifications

A surprising amount of people lie about the qualifications they have achieved, believing that once you have a certain number of years in your career the ‘piece of paper’ doesn’t matter as much. This is a bad idea for many reasons – not only are some certifications required by law for you to be able to perform a particular role, you may be asked to provide copies for your personnel file if you are successfully employed in the position.

 

4. Job Titles

This is another area where job-seekers incorrectly assume they won’t get found out on. A running gag on the TV sitcom ‘The Office’ was one of the characters incorrectly referring to himself as Assistant Regional Manager instead of Assistant to the Regional Manager. Just as Dwight was always corrected by his boss, so too will you be in a thorough reference check. Use the selection criteria to accurately demonstrate how your skills and experiences can be applied to the role you’re vying for instead of faking titles on your resume.

 

5. Language Fluency

Being able to count to ten or say hello in another language doesn’t mean you speak it fluently. Sneaky job-seekers will often embellish language proficiency on their resume in an attempt to seem worldly and more cultured. This is another area where it is so easy to get caught out on that it just isn’t worth the risk.

It’s important to remember that recruiters potentially look at hundreds of resumes each week so are very adept at picking up any red flags that may indicate a candidate is stretching the truth.


Have you ever caught an applicant out in a lie on their CV? What resume blunders have you stumbled across? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below.

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