Your CV is a potential employer’s first view of you. This incredibly important document is either your ticket to an interview or a one-way pass to the bottom of the pile. With this much pressure it is no wonder so many people are tempted to exaggerate their qualifications and employment histories.
While omission and selective wording are part of the deal when it comes to putting together a great CV, exaggeration and outright lying should be avoided for your own good.
Is it really that serious?
Studies show that around 50% of CVs received by employers contain lies of varying degrees of seriousness. Further studies showed that between 90 and 100% of employers would not consider hiring an individual who had been even the slightest bit dishonest on their CVs.
There have been several cases around the world of people being convicted and jailed for lying on these important documents. This is because faking a qualification or inventing a position at a company is considered fraud.
What is NOT acceptable?
- Lying about your citizenship
- Faking qualifications
- Inventing positions at companies you never worked at
- Lying about job titles you have held
- Changing dates to hide gaps between jobs
What is acceptable?
- Showing yourself in the best light
- Expanding on your skills, good qualities and successes
- Taking credit for successful team work
- Using affirmative statements like ‘I am great at this’ and ‘I am very skilled in this area’
- Omitting things that reflect negatively on you
But what if you can get away with it?
You may think that you can get away with a few lies because most employers wouldn’t have the time to double check every bit of information. However, although you might get through the first selection round on a fraudulent CV, when your potential employer starts calling up references you could find yourself in a very difficult situation.
If you manage to get the job it won’t be long before it becomes clear that you do not have the skills, qualifications and experience that you said you had. If you do get away with it for a short while, you will always be looking over your shoulder and trying to cover your tracks.
Holding together a lie is much harder than putting your head down and earning your job with honest, hard work. There is nothing wrong with emphasizing your good points and down playing your weaknesses and if you get the job without the help of a lie you will have a true achievement to be proud of.
Make Yourself Marketable
While you wait for the perfect job opportunity to present itself, there are lots of skills you could be working on to make yourself more attractive to employers.
Tick the following skills off your list to become a sought-after asset in your job area.
A driver’s licence
Whether your job itself requires you to operate a vehicle, you should still aim to get a licence and some experience. If your employer knows that you can get to work and back without having to rely on public transportation, they will be more likely to hire you.
Having a first aid course behind your name, whether you are looking for a job in the media industry or in woodworking will definitely add to your appeal. Although an employer may not be looking for someone who could potentially save her from choking on her sandwich at lunch time, she will be impressed that you took the initiative to learn a valuable skill.
In almost any job, you will need at least a basic knowledge of computers. As businesses move towards total reliance on computer systems, the more knowledge you have about any aspect of a computer, the better.
Knowing how to operate basic programs and the internet is fine, but if you really want to impress you should learn how to troubleshoot, how to set up an internet connection, how to use the more obscure programs, how to create a webpage or how to use or fix any other aspect of a computer.
Knowing how to talk to a customer, get information out of a source, sell a product or deal with an angry client are integral sources for a range of jobs. If you can prove that you know how to deal with people, that you are confident in group situations and that you can articulate yourself nicely, you will have a huge advantage.
Organisation is a skill that most people feel they are either born with or they are not. Fortunately, you can learn to be more organised. De-clutter your house, computer and cellphone, use a diary or a calendar, reply to messages as they come in and do not leave things to the last minute. These skills will not only make you more marketable, they will add value to your life. Start now and you will be well on your way to a more positive you as well as a successful career.
The Definite Dos and Don’ts of Interviews: Dress Appropriately
When it comes to making a good impression on your potential future employer, one of the most important things to consider is the outfit that you choose to wear. Ensure that you avoid anything too revealing. Instead, opt for something that is slightly more conservative – preferably in a neutral colour – that fits you well and that you feel comfortable in. Check out this short video to see why your outfit choice is so very important…
What are Recruiters and Prospective Employers Looking For?
When on a job search, most people will seek to ensure that they come across as the ‘perfect applicant’ by tweaking their CVs, taking a few short courses, and brushing up on their interpersonal skills. The question is – what exactly are recruiters and prospective employers looking for; and how can you best demonstrate these traits and abilities during an interview? We advise below.
Every company goes through its highs and lows, ups and downs, successes and failures – and recruiters seek to hire new employees who they believe will have the necessary resilience in order to work through these good and bad moments alongside the company, rather than simply abandoning ship when things start to go down-hill.
How do I demonstrate this? During your interview, be optimistic about the future, and do not complain about the past. Even if you faced challenges at a previous place of employment, talk about how these challenges helped you to grow and develop new skills, rather than how they made life difficult for you.
Recruiters want to hear about your career goals and objectives, because they want to ascertain whether or not these goals and objectives are in line with those of the company.
How do I demonstrate this? During your interview, do your best to speak about your career aspirations from the perspective of how you wish to grow and succeed within the particular company at which you are interviewing – and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Credibility / Integrity
Obviously, employers are looking for honest, reliable employees with outstanding qualifications and skills.
How do I demonstrate this?
Ensure that everything that you have mentioned in your CV is honest and legit. Do not embellish any skills or choose to alter or omit any important details. The chances are high that your potential employer will verify certain aspects of your CV which, if untrue, could ultimately cost you the job. Also be sure to answer all questions openly and honestly during the interview.
Passion / Enthusiasm
Loving what you do, and doing what you love is a great gift – and it makes a massive difference to your productivity and general work ethic. It is because of this that most recruiters will be seeking someone with a passion not only for the work that they do, but for the industry in general.
How do I demonstrate this?
Don’t fake it – recruiters will be able to pick up on this immediately. Ultimately, passion and enthusiasm are two things that will shine through on their own. And if you are NOT passionate about what you do, it might be time to consider a career change.