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Friday Article : Lying on your CV - Irish Job News - News on Jobs for Ireland

Friday Article : Lying on your CV

8 February 2008 | Ireland | 1 Response by Paul Mullan.

It’s all about your CV this week. Last week we mentioned about how you should “lay your CV out and what you should include in it” this week we are going to talk about what not to put in your CV. Many people include things the haven’t done, or qualifications they never achieved, but lying in an interview or on your CV is a very risky business. Read on and find out why….

Professional CV Writing – CV Lies

CV’s by their nature are biased as they are a self written document. There is a fine line between selling oneself and the blatant lies. A recent survey indicated that 86% of employers believed that most of the CV’s and applications they received contained lies. In fact the same survey found out that some HR managers had bent the truth on their own CV’s to help them secure jobs. Competition in the job market has increased as have the potential rewards. This has led to increased fabrication and more worryingly an acceptance of this behaviour in the jobs arena

Most common CV lies

writing a professional CV

The most common lies included qualifications, hiding career gaps, magnifying responsibilities and fictional job titles. Jobseekers falsify qualifications, the level of qualifications, leave out the fact that they didn’t complete or failed a qualification and some jobseekers are actually buying qualifications on the internet. Job responsibilities are increased and some jobseekers give themselves a promotion with the flick of a few keys on the keyboard. Filling in the gaps between employment and periods when jobseekers were out of work is quite common too.

What are organisations doing to combat CV lies?

Lucky for most jobseekers – not much is being done by employers to combat lying on CV’s or at interview. I am baffled as to why employers put so much emphasis on CV’s and references in their recruitment process. Most people believe what they read and this is true for CV’s. Progressive organisations are moving towards competency based interviews and psychometric testing and leaving less emphasis on CV’s and references. They are putting other hurdles into the recruitment process and reducing the importance of traditional techniques.

Should you lie on your CV?

This is an individual preference and I am not going to tell you what to do. The problem with lies is that it will often take other lies to cover them up. This soon becomes a complex web of deception. On top of this it is often not the words that give you up but your body language. An experienced interviewer will be able to catch out an interviewee who is lying. There is only one possible outcome if caught and that is losing out on a potential job. Even if you successfully fake it at interview you may still not be safe as it regularly reported (some high profile cases in Ireland) about individuals who were fired as their lies were uncovered after they commenced employment.


Article by Paul Mullan of Measurability offers Career Coaching to individuals (Career Direction, CV Design & Interview Coaching) and Assessment Solutions for businesses to improve their recruitment decisions.

1 Response

  1. Gary Daly said on 12 Feb 2008 at 1:56 pm

    I think its hard to sustain a lie over the course of several interviews and a thorough interview process.

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