07 October

I solemnly promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth whilst composing my CV….

We’ve all been there, we’ve all added an extra digit or enhanced a story to make things seem more interesting or appealing, but should this trait follow whilst composing a CV? Honestly? The answer could not be any clearer; simply don’t do it.

Not only telling a few white lines deemed as ‘unethical’ but if your potential employer does find out then it could potentially lead to the end of your engagement with that firm. You’ve got to remember, experienced HR managers have seen it all, they know what areas and points you’re more likely to ‘enhance; and will focus on these points to really see if it all adds up. Social Media and in particular the internet provide HR managers with the tools to seek the truth if required.

If this hasn’t made you think twice, then simply search online. There’s loads of cases whereby individuals have lied on their CV/during an interview only for this to come out later down the line and the result being sudden dismissal. Considering all these factors, we’re going to take a look at some of the options available if one did consider telling a cheeky lie…

What are the consequences if I’m caught providing false information on my CV?

If it backfires, and you’re caught out telling a little lie on your application, then here are just some of the possible outcomes that may arise…

  • If found our prior to a job offering being made, then the employer can immediately reject your job application.
  • The employer is also within the power to blacklist your name, preventing your from applying for any future jobs with that company.
  • If the lies have surfaced after you’ve take up employment, then the employer is well within their power to dismiss you.
  • You could be severely embarrassed if this comes out.
  • Potential prosecution and in some cases prison time!

There are many that have lied on their applications/CV’s throughout their professional careers, but this is something we wouldn’t encourage as it could eventually catch up with you.

Why do people mislead on their CVs?

The common answer for this is to simply standout so that they secure the interview itself. You are trying to ensure that you ‘win’ this competition and to do so you need to ensure you are better than your opposition and that your CV surfaces to the top of the pile.

The real problems then materialise once you are in the interview, it’s now down to you to prove the fact and potentially provide evidence to backup everything you have detailed within your CV. This is where most are caught out!

What are the most common points to lie about in a CV?

The most common lies submitted within CVs usually focus around:

  • Enhancing your previous job or position at that place of employment
  • Qualifications – Putting down GCSE scores you didn’t achieve or degrees you haven’t obtained or even boasting higher grades.
  • Falsifying your previous salary
  • Who you have previously worked for – trying to drop in big names?
  • Dismissals – hiding the fact that you have been dismissed from a previous job.
  • Dates of employment – lying by extending periods, makes you look more reliable as an employee if you are committed and consistent.
  • Tasks undertaken through your previous employment
  • Not disclosing any run ins with the law – Criminal Records or actual prison time.
  • Enhancing your overall work experience and skills gained through that.
  • Lying about your reasons for leaving employment, making out you chose to leave when in fact you were asked to leave or did not meet targets.
  • Pretending to be multi-lingual
  • Using incorrect references on your CV

So how am I going to get caught out if I do lie/mislead?

In the first instance, employers will attempt to contact and check details with your references or previous/current employer.

Other forms of investigation include…

  • Sub-contracting a specialist firm to conduct background checks on you.
  • Request proof of claims which could be in the form of documentation or original certificates/awards.
  • Undertake DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks
  • Ask specific and probing questions to see whether it’s possible to catch you out.

If any gaps or discrepancies do surface, then the HR Manager may then ultimately dismiss your application or request an explanation.

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