In today's world of "fake news", half-truths and lies twisted by nuance to come across as facts, its not surprising research by employment firm Hireright, found that 85 per cent of employers say they've caught applicants lying on their resumes.
Just before Christmas an Australian woman was sentenced to over two years in prison for lying on her resume to land a $185,000 a year government job.
According to the District Court Judge, her application was filled with untrue references, false education and inflated work history. And if that was not enough, she had actually pretended to be one of her own referees when a recruiter phoned for a verbal reference.
Sadly New Zealand is also not immune, with many examples of high-profile CV liars being splashed across the media over the last twenty years.
What Do Candidates Lie About?
The most common CV lies that unscrupulous job hunters employ include:
● Lying about successfully gaining a qualification
● Extending employment dates when you were unemployed
● Exaggerating numbers, sales / KPI results
● Boosting position titles
● Stretching employment responsibilities
● Embellishing technical skills and expertise
● Claiming fluency in a language
● Inflating grades and academic results
So You 'Got One Past The Keeper'
Let's say you have managed to secure an interview based on an "untruth" in your CV. There are still myriad ways employers can catch you out.
● Verbal referees are mandatory for most organisations these days, and recruiters are trained to "sniff out" gaps in a referee's story.
● Obviously the ability to check educational qualifications are now just a click of a button away.
● "Behavioural interviewing" techniques (those horrible questions that start with "give me an example when…") help an interviewer to truly determine the truth of a fact. If you claim to be an awesome project manager, but can't recall a time when you led a team, flags quickly go up.
● The CV and LinkedIn profile don't match. This is so common it's actually comical. In my experience, there is a huge disconnect between a person's CV and what LinkedIn claims. Most of the time this is a copy and paste type error; however it's a very poor look to a prospective employer.
● The job titles in the CV are too good to be true. This becomes a major problem when verbal referees are called, and your credibility falls apart when the referee says "no they were NOT the Customer Services Manager, they were a Customer Services Consultant."
If your CV is your personal brochure, it must sell you ethically to an employer, or you could get in big trouble. Take time to ensure that your CV and LinkedIn profile are ethical and honest, as it's better to miss out on an opportunity, than potentially go to jail.
Contact Tom O'Neil and the team at CV.CO.NZ for a free CV assessment or to be your personal career coach. Visit CV.CO.NZ (0800) 282 669 or CareerCoach.nz to find out more.