When you’re unemployed, the temptation to improve your CV can be strong for some people. But be careful not to cross the thin line between enhancing your profile and lying.
According to a CareerBuilder.ca online survey released in August 2015, half of Canadian employers have already detected a lie on a job seeker’s resume.
The most embellished elements are skills and responsibilities, followed by job titles, degrees held, names of companies for which candidates have worked, and dates of employment. Awards and prizes come last, with 20% of recruiters having ever seen a misleading CV on this topic.
These figures come as a bit of a surprise to Sandrine Théard, a recruitment consultant and trainer for 13 years. “It’s true that people embellish their CVs, but I haven’t seen many real lies,” she says.
For this recruiter, who works mainly in the pharmaceutical field, it is a real lie to give yourself a diploma you don’t have or to give false employment dates. It’s unforgivable,” she says. On the other hand, candidates often exaggerate a bit, for example, their level of involvement in a project. But that’s fair enough! »
If Sandrine Théard tends to be indulgent, it is because she is aware that companies can also present things in a slightly more rosy way than they really are and that candidates must show themselves off. “Today, you have to be able to market yourself as a company would,” she says.
Staying in the Truth
How do you show yourself at your best and still be honest? Simply by asking yourself what you’ve really brought to the company. Explaining that data entry has been done can be more positive for the CV than one might think if the candidate indicates how their participation has allowed the project to be completed successfully and within the time allotted.
Such an exercise makes it possible to realize that inventing responsibilities and tasks is useless. Going beyond the task at hand and highlighting one’s participation in a project or its completion allows one to put more emphasis on one’s skills,” says Sandrine Théard. Today, recruiters are looking for skills as well as knowledge. »
It should also be borne in mind that recruiters are now more vigilant about the veracity of the CVs they receive. The Internet makes it harder for liars to tell the truth. “I systematically google candidates, and references and diplomas are checked,” she says.
Researchers who might be tempted to stray from the truth should also be aware that being hired does not guarantee anything. For Sandrine Téhard, they can always be caught by their lies later. “Just because the candidate is hired by the company doesn’t mean that the company won’t fire him two months later if it realizes that he lied! »