A little exaggeration never hurt anyone, right? Well, when it comes to your CV, it can result in your removal from the applicant shortlist.
Recruiters and managers who like the look of your application are likely to conduct a little research before organising an interview. Googling your background and making calls to your references may quickly reveal any lies or embellishment of accomplishments.
‘By exaggerating your CV, you take on the additional risk being discovered during an interview,’ says Phil Sheridan, managing director at Robert Half UK.
‘Often hiring managers use your CV as the main dialogue for your interview and by exaggerating your CV if your responses don’t match this can raise red flags.
‘The best option is to provide an accurate representation of your skills and experience on your CV. This way both you and the hiring manager are able to establish if you will be a good fit for the position.’
The perils of exaggerating your achievements on a CV are as you would expect… you will get found out. Of course, employers expect applicants to attempt to sell themselves when looking for a new role, but there’s a fine line between promoting your successes and simply lying.
Andrew Wilkinson, a senior manager at Venn Group, says: ‘It is a line that shouldn’t be crossed. It’s relatively easy to find out whether someone has the qualifications they say they have. If you do somehow manage to secure a role by embellishing your achievements – or even just making them up – you won’t get very far before your colleagues grow suspicious of you and you really do look foolish.
‘It’s rare for this to happen because the industry is so adept at identifying fraudsters, but you must be aware that even small lies can catch you out. Even exaggerating your experience or level of competency on a particular programme could lead to trouble if you’re asked to work on a project focused around that tool.
‘Our advice is simple – don’t lie or even exaggerate as it won’t do you any favours in the long run and you will get caught.’