Exaggerate on your CV

You have just exaggerated on your CV and “embellished” the truth. You have put “bilingual” when you only really know a few everyday English words? Then have you just added a required qualification in the foolish hope of getting an interview? What’s the problem? Come one! Didn’t your parents teach you that lying is bad!  But what do you actually risk?  Not being hired quite simply!!!!

Checking references is practically automatic in the hiring process…and a school which has no record of your qualification is much more credible than an added line in Word!!! What’s more, fake qualifications are becoming easier to obtain and distinguish from real ones (cf.certain websites which I prefer not to name sell finance degrees from Concordia University for $160), qualification checks are more often done over the telephone with the institution itself.

If you do manage to sneak in, if you inspire confidence and checks do not take place you will probably get caught out one day or another! When the truth finally comes out (and it always does) you will have to explain yourself to regain your superiors and your colleagues trust…Because in the end, if you lied you are dishonest, and if you are dishonest there is a risk that you are not so dedicated.  We could go as far as to say that you are not trustworthy…yet you regularly work with data which must especially not be divulged to competitors!!!  So we thank you for your service but we don’t want to see you again!  There is a strong chance that the next employer will check references…well you’ve really made a mess for yourself!!!  In each case, even if we don’t arrive at this conclusion, the lies will not get you far.  Playing with fire risks scarring you definitively for employers…and that wasn’t really the goal!!

Of course the CV should represent you in terms of your best assets, but there are ways of embellishing reality to aid your application without losing sight of the truth…Some examples?  You still don’t have your MBA because of one course that you have difficulties passing: put “MBA in progress”!  Your experience at ABC Inc. only lasted 8 months?  Don’t put the duration…You worked there “in 1999”.  Those who wish to know more will ask you but they cannot question the wording: it’s true you did work there in 1999! Just remember in this case not to stipulate the duration for any of your other experiences.

What I am tempted to highlight is that there can be several ways of describing the aspects of your experience.  Tempted to make them attractive and worthwhile by exaggerating?  The aim is to please the person evaluating you, and to reflect the skills you possess for the position to the maximum.  By being honest and knowing how to sell yourself, you will show your best side.

You probably already know that employers often look for a five legged sheep.  So if you only have four legs but four strong, groomed legs, you have a chance!  No need to invent the fifth leg; that will show through in the interview! Take advice on ways of making a CV better than your competitors and note the tips for getting past the CV stage without taking useless risks.  To finish, remember that a CV has two aims:

  • To represent you, and lead you to an interview
  • To be the basic tool for the interview: the recruiter will examine each point…which makes it important to do the most for your image! After all, you are your own marketing agent…!
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