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6 Reasons Not to Lie on Your CV

23 Sep 15  | Recruitment News
6 Reasons why it's never a good idea to lie on your CV

With VW’s big emissions omission making the headline rounds at the moment, the water-cooler conversation has steered towards the murky waters of professional lies, and as we here at CBSbutler are in recruitment, the obvious topic is whether it’s ever okay to lie on your CV.

A UK survey by leading industry publication The Recruiter discovered that around 23% of recruitment firms report regularly uncovering lies in candidate’s CVs. Some of the more unusual lies included listing God as a reference, lion taming as a hobby, claiming to have 25 years of experience at the age of 32, and a claim to be the assistant to the prime minister of a country which does not have a prime minister.

A survey by UK Higher Education Degree Datacheck (HEDD), revealed that around 33% of graduates and job seekers falsify important information on their CVs each year, with 40% exaggerating their academic achievements and 11% making up a degree altogether.

Yet another survey, carried out last year by CareerBuilder, questioned 2,188 HR professionals and found that an incredible 58% of hiring managers have caught job applicants being dishonest on their CVs, and 33% say that they’ve seen an increase in embellishments and dishonesty since the global economic recession.

51% of the hiring managers surveyed said that they would automatically dismiss a candidate if they caught them in a lie, while 40% said that it would depend on the content of the fib. Only 7% said that they would be willing to overlook a lie if they particularly liked the candidate.

All this goes to show that lying on your CV just isn’t worth it. CBSbutler’s automotive consultant Charles Beecroft has six reasons you really shouldn’t be telling porkies:

  1. Simply, it might stop you landing the job.

    You might have embellished a little simply because you’re so desperate to get this position, but to your prospective employer it probably doesn’t matter why you did it – just that you lied.

  2. It’s a bad start.

    The lie might not get you immediately thrown in the ‘no’ pile, but if you do get an interview, you are more than likely going to be asked why you’ve lied, and that’s never a good beginning to an interview, or a working relationship.

  3. You will get caught.

    Maybe not this time, and maybe not next time, but you will, and it will be awkward and embarrassing and may seriously damage career options, particularly if you work in a very niche field.

  4. Even if they don't know, you’ll know.

    Even if you don’t get caught this time – you’ll know. You’ll know you’ve lied and it will make you uncomfortable, so that any natural connection you might have been able to make with your interviewer will probably end up feeling stilted and distant. If you’re upfront, you have nothing to hide and can be open and honest.

  5. It makes it hard to trust you in the future.

    Even if you get the job, your new boss/colleagues might be a little leery of putting their full trust in you – after all, you’ve lied before.

  6. Ultimately, it’s fraud.

    It may be unlikely that a little white lie on your CV will land you in court, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility.
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