Biggest lies in your CV
This whole article could be composed of a single line of text: “For heaven's sake, don't lie in your CV”.
Still here? Good. So let us move on.
But it is so common!
Lying on CV's is, unluckily, quite popular nowadays.Hell, if you enter “lying on...” into Google one of top suggestions will be “lying on resume”! According to recent researches inform us that as much as forty-five to fifty-two percent of resumes contain false data. Up until recently the number increased rapidly, the snowball effect causing more and more workers to enter false data into their CVs to remain competitive on the market. There was no way anybody could find out about this, right?
Wrong, as it turns out. The avalanche struck the metaphorical wall as the employers started using more and more advanced methods of telling apart truths and lies. Of course the Internet helped immensely in those background searches, but first and foremost it happened simply because employers realized how they were cheated.
Of course, many applicants still try to cheat and more often than not – succeed at first. But after year or two (companies check their employees' CVs after hiring them) many of those falsifications are revealed and the workers get immediately fired. This would not be so catastrophic for interns if it was not for crushing credentials such people receive.
Do not be shy
Scared? Have you just opened your CV and wiped half of it? Well, press ctrl + z and look at it again.
You have to keep competitive. This means advertising yourself, and showing your strengths. There is no place for false modesty in CV.
Being unemployed for some time may be a warning sign for an employer, as it usually means that you were fired and could not find a job for some time. Of course, maybe you have moved, maybe the company fell apart – but that few-months-long gap may make a bad impression. If you use yearly dates you can hide it, increasing your chances of passing to the next recruitment step. When you are asked about it you would better tell the truth, but using yearly dates is something you may consider.
Also, while describing your previous jobs, remember that even if you were not paid you have certainly gained some experience. This may seem obvious to you, but there are people that do not list jobs they were not paid for! So, remember to include unpaid internships abroad and volunteer jobs in your resume.
Sometimes you may believe that the name of your last position was inaccurate, or the amount of money you have earned was too low. You may feel like changing something or adding a few quids to your salary, but the thing to do is adding a short explanation. “Officially I was Senior Coffee Maker but running the whole company was my real responsibility” is much better thing to say than an outright lie.
There is also one more thing to consider – your location. “Good English skills” mean one thing in New York, and other in Russia. In various parts of the world different schools place diverse amount of emphasis on teaching the same skills You may consider changing description of your skills, depending on where are you about to apply.
What should I never do
“A lie has no legs!”. If you lie you will be caught sooner or later. It is very likely that you will lose your job, credibility and even more.
Obviously, do not write that you have worked somewhere you did not, or learned at a place you have only visited. Inflating your title was already mentioned but yeah, do not do this. Salesmen or other marketing specialists may feel like doing the same with their statistics, but this is an old trick and probably every HR specialist worth his or her salt will ask them for a proof. Exaggerating your past income is – to put it simply – a stupid idea, as it is usually the first thing recruiters check. Incorporating benefits you have received – like a company car or phone – into salary is usually frowned upon. You may write about them separately, though.
Your employer may contact your past colleagues, your boss, visit you on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and so on. You will not gain anything in the long term – and the nervousness you will have to deal with will render all short term gains worthless.
Okay, I think I got it.
Yeah? But let me tell this one last time – do not lie, do not fraud, do not cheat. Try and make your CV mean what it reads. At the same time, though, do not forget to advertise yourself and show the employer you are the one for this job.