Best CV = Lying?

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009 - CV Examples, CV Help, CV Tips, CV Writing, how to make a cv, How to Write a CV, Job Application, job search, recruiters, recruitment

Best CV = Lying?

«Hey Mister, I recognize you! Come here to play with me!»

When we are answering Job Application questions, either for clients or on forums, a significant number of them deal with what is the Best CV; and a second category deals with what is acceptable CV lying?

A thought therefore occurred to me: are the Best CV’s written by Liars?

Before we explore this thought, let me be very, very clear: the Number1 rule of CV Writing is never, ever lie on your CV. Much as though it is not illegal to lie on your CV, it is illegal and possibly subject to later criminal prosecution to lie on the employers Job Application form. Hence when you transfer the information from your CV to the Application Form, or simply sign a statement verifying it, you are then breaking the law.

So, why is it worth exploring if CV Lying actually creates the Best CV?

Best CV?

Much as though it may technically – in terms of answering the Job Advert – be the Best CV, it is also the worse. As so many job applicants choose to lie on a cv, it is hence why recruiters and employers put in place rigorous employment checks: another survey appeared this week, showing that 40% of Job Applicants lie on their CV. If you think we don’t do background checks these days, then know that the cost of background checking a job applicant is as low as £25/candidate. Compare this to the cost of hire to the first month of employment at around half the annual wage, it is the equivalent to less than one days pay: excellent payback! While employee background checks will find large misdemeanour’s, references checks find smaller discrepancies.

The issue I want to deal with here, is that looking at CV Lying from my perspective as a recruiter and CV Writer, I suspect that CV liars actually do some things that honest job applicants could learn from. Firstly, they read job adverts; and secondly they assume that employers are readers as well – and fairly lazy ones at that. Unfortunately, they are right!

When 1/3 of all CV’s are rejected because the job applicants does not have the required combination of Skills, Qualifications and Experiences, CV Liars recognise that if they can mimic the required combination of SQE they improve their chances of getting an interview. As Lying on a CV is such an illegal gamble, most CV Liars think that once in the interview room, they can persuade the employer that they are right for the job – irrespective of the SQE combination, or the needs of the employer.

Effectively, CV Liars are Job Application chameleons, or the Martini answer for any employer!

Best CV lessons

What are the lessons that the good and honest Job Applicants can learn from the CV liars?

Firstly, read the job advert – if you don’t have the required SQE combination stated in the advert, then don’t make it up like a CV liar would – just don’t apply!

Secondly, if you have the required SQE combination, then mimic some of the words and phrases that the employer uses in the advert, in your Cover Letter and CV. There is nothing wrong in re-orientating the skills in your CV – changing the emphasis and weight of importance is lying – but the best place to show your functional fit for a job is always in your Cover Letter. Good job applicants do more research than unsuccessful job applicants, or CV liars who just make it all up.

Thirdly, once in the interview room, be yourself and be honest, don’t try and overtly sell yourself. It is a match of you and the employer that will get you the job, not a great piece of false and illegal sales man ship.

Good Luck!


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