To Lie or Not to Lie: CV Writing

October 11th, 2020

We’ve all been tempted to exaggerate on our CVs from time to time, but have you ever lied? And, more importantly, did you get away with it?

We doubt it.

You can pull a fast one all you like, but when it comes to game-day, you won’t actually know where to kick the ball. In other words, what’s the point in lying to secure the role, if you don’t know how to do the job?

Having said that, people lie about many things. We’ve compiled a list of ways people have lied and how you can easily be found out…

1. Fired

The Lie:

Being fired from a job isn’t something we shout from the rooftops, since it's usually a consequence of your own bad decisions. Let’s say then, hypothetically, you lied about this situation to a recruiter or employer…

Caught Red-handed:

Many applications require a minimum of two references from past employers. If you hand over the contact details of the manager who had fired you, and then the recruiter gives them a ring, guess what happens next? Yep, you’ll be caught red-handed.

2. Qualifications

The Lie:

We’re not talking about switching a grade D for a C for your Geography GCSE, it tends to be a degree result which people 'exaggerate’; giving themselves first-class honours, when they scrapped a 2:1.

Caught Red-handed:

If the role you are applying for is a relevant industry to what you had studied at university, an employer might ask to see academic documentations. This might not even be to catch you out, but to learn about the specific modules that you had been taught. If this is asked of you after lying about your grades, guess what happens next? Yep, you’ll be caught red-handed.

3. Criminal records 

The Lie:

This is when things get a little more serious and the repercussions, a little more detrimental. Regardless of the severity of the crime, you will be discovered. Whether it’s during the application process or a few weeks into the job, you will be discovered.

Caught Red-handed:

It will take a quick background check from a Hiring Specialist, or a DBS check from a member in the team and you've been caught red-handed. More likely than not, you’ll be asked to explain yourself, your application will be dismissed and your name handed to other industry professionals. Oh the humiliation...

4. Responsibilities

The Lie:

Did you actually pitch the winning project to a high-profile client, or were you time-keeping in the corner? It’s not uncommon for jobseekers to overstate the tasks that they completed in their previous jobs. Perhaps you should have had those responsibilities, but Jemma from IT wanted to do it all herself...Either or, don’t lie. Why?

Caught Red-handed: 

In an interview, the Hiring Executive would have done their research beforehand, or they may even be going through your CV with you. The interviewer doesn;t usually ask direct questions, but will ask you to expand on your work history, or they’ll ask you something specific, in a bid to learn about your experience. Remembering your own lie under pressure isn’t fun for anyone in the room and guess what happens when you can’t give a sufficient answer? You get caught red-handed!

We hope we’ve convinced you to avoid lying at all costs. You don’t need to pretend to be the person that you THINK they’re looking for. They may just want someone dedicated and eager to learn. 

Do the right thing; don’t lie on your CV.