This week, I’ll warn you – I am having a rant about the good old curriculum vitae and more specifically what people say in them. I would never lie about what is in my C.V. I am proud of my achievements, and I always felt that if I had to lie, exaggurate or embelish to get a job then I probably didn’t have the skills to do that particular job and I should save myself and the employer time and money and not end up getting myself sacked. Also, I would never want to put so much pressure on myself that I felt that I couldn’t/didn’t know how to do a particular task that I lost sleep. I really like sleep.

An article in The Guardian revealed that in a survey the majority of job seekers “admitted that they knew it was illegal to give misinformation on CVs, but a third said they knew someone who has lied or exaggerated about their qualifications on their CV.”

The most common lies were:

  • Giving a higher grade than they had actually achieved (47%)
  • Claiming they had completed a course when they only finished part of it (29%)
  • Offering a different course subject to suit the job requirements (13%)
  • Saying they have a degree when they don’t (11%)

The lie I came across which was on a Linkedin profile was very different to these common lies. The fabrication actually involved lies that created a whole digital department that never existed (that the individual was head of) and also involved a promotion to become head of marketing of a group of companies, managing 8 individual marketing departments. All this is complete bullshit. Sorry but it is.

Has no one learnt from what happened to former Yahoo! chief executive Scott Thompson, since it was alleged that he lied on his CV about his degree? Surely this is a cautionary tale for people in any profession and Brand Republic gives more information on the distinction between over-egging, omissions and outright lies.

And what of this individual who’s Linkedin lies fell under my radar? I tackled the matter directly and asked what their game was, and had they deliberately meant to mislead… This is the response:

“hi no it was intended as that, one of my current companies checks linked in – a quick exaggeration of my cv got me double my salary in negotiations it certainly pays to negotiate…. I’ll amend now i’m safely under the table there lol


2 thoughts on “CV’s

  1. Great article Lorna! This is shocking but I’m guessing more and more common place nowadays. Hardly fair though for us honest punch of applicants.

    Had a very similar experience recently myself when I found out that a newly employed senior manager had claimed on her CV that she had over 10 years experience at an “international corporate brand” in her LinkedIn profile. This meaning she had worked 2 full-time jobs at the same time for 2 separate firms for an overlapping period of over 5 years. Yeah right!?!

    Was it a simple error, a mistake or even typo? Well it conveniently meant that she meet the “must have at least 10 years high level international corporate branding” experience in the person spec. Which she clearly did not have!

    I wasn’t the only person nosey enough to notice this when she first joined and a fellow colleague sent me a link to her newly updated profile recently and guess what … the overlapping period of working 2 jobs has miraculously disappeared with the experience at the large corporate firm dropping from10 down to 5 years – just like that! Shocking…!?! But seems to be the way things are going.

    BTW aren’t you brave Lorna actually challenging the person in question over this? If I did this at my place I’d be in front of a panel HR and Directors quicker than you could say MISLEADING LIER…

    • Hi Jamie,

      Glad it’s not just me who is honest! I find it outrageous that people will lie so blatantly!

      To be honest, where we work doesn’t really have a HR department so I don’t have that problem. Also the individual only works for our group on a consultancy basis now. Plus they’re not based in our offices and I don’t think I’ve ever met them…. Maybe I will do now though!

      They have since changed their LinkedIn but I did save a pdf copy of it, just in case I get questioned on it in the future 🙂 to be fair I never used to word “liar” although it was total lies…. I went with the “so remind me when you were my boss again, and when did we have a digital department?” approach.

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