There’s numerous guides, hints and tips circulating the web on how to write an effective CV, so there’s no excuse to not be able to produce a successful CV.
Those with limited skills and experience may find it necessary to embellish what’s on their CV, but they need to be aware that any false information contained could go against them if discovered.
A recent survey by CareerBuilder has found that 56% of employers have found a lie on a CV, and some of these may not necessarily be the most discreet or subtle. The most common lies were highlighted as exaggerated skill sets (62%) whilst 54% embellished their past responsibilities. 39% lied about the date range of past employment, 31% altered their own job titles, and shockingly 28% went onto lie about possessing academic degrees.
These lies lead to not only wasted time from an employer’s perspective, but can also be severely detrimental to a candidate’s future when applying for roles with different employers.
Candidates actually feel the need to lie due to the fact that they feel that they must fulfil every requirement in the job listing, when really most positions will offer training to help the candidate to learn every aspect of a role. 42% of employers say that they would consider an applicant who has met only three out of five qualifications.
As part of the survey CareerBuilder has collected examples of some of the most ridiculous lies and mistakes on CVs, some of which are downright risky.
- 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 in there serving time
- Applicant who claimed to be HVAC certified later asked the hiring manager what “HVAC” meant
- Applicant said to have gotten fired “on accident”
- 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 had a driver’s license for four years
- Applicant’s reference was an employer from whom they had embezzled money and had an arrest warrant out for the applicant
- Applicant’s stated job history had him in three different companies and three different cities simultaneously
If you’re looking to find out the attributes employers want, stick to the truth. Convey your skills and abilities, and if they are lacking, summarise how your determination and willingness to work within a particular industry is what will drive you to learn and intake as much information as possible when working for them. 61% of employers have actually stated that they prefer CVs that are customised for the open position, 49% prefer those that are accompanies by a cover letter, and 26% are favourable of those that address the hiring manager by name.
A final popular approach is candidates including links to their own online portfolio, blog or website (21%).