A CV is the first chance to make a great impression with a potential employer. Unfortunately, some people feel the need to embellish every now and again.
Hannah Darby, Commercial Recruitment Consultant, says “What candidates must understand is that it’s very easy to get caught. A survey by CareerBuilder found that 56% of employers have found a lie on a CV. One of the most common mistakes I have seen candidates make is assuming that they must fulfill every single requirement in the job listing. Most employers would consider an applicant who meets, say, three out of five qualifications.”
Some common lies include embellished skills (62%), embellished responsibilities (54%), dates of employment (39%), job titles (31%) and even academic degrees (28%).
Here are some examples of some of the most ridiculous mistakes and lies found on CVs from the CareerBuilder survey:
– Applicant claimed to be a former CEO of the company to which they were applying
– Applicant claimed to be fluent in two languages – one of which was pig Latin
– Applicant wrote “whorehouse” instead of “warehouse” when listing work history
– Applicant’s personal website linked to a porn site
– Applicant introduced himself [in the cover letter] by saying “Hey you”
– Applicant vying for a customer service position gave “didn’t like dealing with angry customers” as the reason for leaving her last job
– User name of applicant’s email address was “2poopy4mypants”
– Applicant claimed to be a Nobel Prize winner
– Applicant claimed to have worked in a jail when they were really serving time there
– Applicant who claimed to be HVAC certified later asked the interviewer what “HVAC” meant
– Applicant claimed to have attended a college that didn’t exist
– Applicant for a driver position claimed to have 10 years of experience but had only held a driver’s license for four years
– Applicant’s stated job history had him in three different companies and three different cities simultaneously
Preventing mistakes is an obvious first step. Also consider exactly what employers want. Here’s a list of things that employers like to see on a CV:
– CVs that are customised for the particular position
– CV’s that are accompanied by a cover letter
– Applications that are addressed to the hiring manager or recruiter by name
– Including links to any online portfolios, blogs or websites.