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Stick to the truth – never lie on your CV!


by Elizabeth Farry | 30 June 2016

Be honest, have you ever lied on your CV? I am sure that when writing your CV to send to potential employers it is tempting to enhance or embellish the truth. However if you are later found to have been deceitful on your CV, the consequences can be severe. The art to writing a good CV is knowing how to sell yourself with the skills and experience you are already equipped with, rather than fabricating work history or qualifications. Even if you think it is a small ‘white lie’ the consequences could be damaging to your future career.

Applicants often lie for many different reasons on their CV and some of the most common untruths are the changing of their educational achievements, having a particular type of experience which matches a job vacancy or changing dates of employment. If you do not meet the requirements set out in the job advert it is important not to change anything on your CV in order to secure an interview. If you have included false information on your CV this is considered fraud. There have been many cases where a qualification is required to legally undertake a role, a candidate has lied on their application and consequently, legal action has been taken. 

As a recruiter I have reviewed many CV’s over the span of my career and have developed an instinct which tells me an element on a candidates’ CV is not quite right. Always remember to tell the truth as it will always come out in the end. Even if it does not end up in legal action, you can seriously harm your future career and ultimately your reputation in the market. Do you want to be known as a dishonest individual?

Try and see yourself in the employer’s shoes. If you were in the process of recruiting someone into your team and took a CV on face value which ended up being a lie, how would you feel? You are putting the employer in a vulnerable position by doing this. 

Here are some tips to think about when applying for jobs without having to lie on your CV.

  • Research – It is always important to research any company before applying for a job. Look at their website, read through their careers page as it may give you an insight into the type of person/ specific requirements needed for the role. Do you know of anyone who is working there currently or who has previously? Use your connections to get some insider information.
  • Use your research to understand if your skills or qualifications match the job specification, and if they do then make sure you highlight these. If you possess the relevant expertise, put this at the forefront of your application.  
  • Show your personality - do your hobbies or interests reflect the firm’s culture? You want to show them that you would be a good fit, but do not exaggerate.

If you need any CV advice, or would like to discuss opportunities which match your expertise, please call me on 0113 243 9775, or email elizabeth.farry@sellickpartnership.co.uk. Alternatively, check out our candidate resources section to discover how you can craft the perfect CV.