The 5 Most Common CV Lies

Will you get caught out for lying on your CV? The truth is yes, you will. Well, it’s most likely anyway. Most employers nowadays will run a background check on potential employees and more often than not they will contact your references. Regardless of whether or not the recruiter loved your application and interview, if they find out you lied on your CV you can say goodbye to that job offer. We’re taking a look at the most common lies people tell on their CVs.

1. Upselling education


It seems that many candidates feel the need to exaggerate their education history, in regards to their degree subject, grade and even university. In a 2015 article, Forbes described that lying about education on a CV is ‘depressing’ and ‘stupid,’ explaining that a simple education background check reveals the lies of the candidate. Forbes explains that candidates would list the university they graduated from but after checking with the registrar’s office there would be no record of that person. Busted. The further you get away from time of graduation the less your degree matters and the more your work experience speaks for itself. This doesn’t mean that you are exempt from education background checks. So think next time before you change that 2:2 into a 2:1!


2. Exaggerating job title and responsibilities


When applying for a higher position it might be tempting to tweak that PR Executive role into a PR Manager position but this will come back to bite you. Your employer might catch you out by asking you questions about your position that are above your knowledge or by checking with your references.


3. Dates of employment


Job seekers can often feel pressured into lying about the dates of their employment to cover up a time gap in their employment history. Either this, or candidates will sometimes exaggerate their dates of employment to give the impression that they have more experience than they really do. It’s okay to have gaps in your timeline and if an employer thinks you aren’t experienced enough for a certain role, you’re probably not. Lying will only lead you to uncomfortable situations further down the line, or potential embarrassment when your employer checks your references and finds out you were lying.


4. Companies worked for


This is a particularly big whopper. Some candidates will list companies on their CV that they have never worked for to try and impress their potential employers. Of course, this is extremely easy to be caught out on. A simple phone call with a manager or check through the companies’ records will prove that you never worked there.


5. Fabricating references


Some candidates even lie about references themselves. If an employer can’t get in touch with your real references then it’s obviously harder for them to realise that you’re lying. Nonetheless, with LinkedIn and companies’ open employment history it’s now easy for employers to check if someone actually works for a company; so listing your best friend as your manager just won’t fly anymore.

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