So... Have you ever lied on a job application?(40 Posts)
That's it really - I don't mean blatent lie as in 'Yes, I do have exeperience on brain surgery' when in reality you have no medical experience at all!
I mean exaggerated your experience?
I'm going for a job a really, really want. I know I can perform in this role. It is in my field but atleast one managment grade above my current experience level and therefore I am finding some of the application questions difficult to evidence with examples of when I have performed the said thing to that level if that makes sense?
No. Not ever.
Don't do it.
By all means describe what you have done in the best possible light, but don't inflate and don't mislead.
Don't ever do this. I interview regularly and I can assure you that we check everything and also ask for originals of exam certificates (including '0' levels, so that shows how far back we go.)
I have left things off an application that weren't relevant to the post applied for e.g. a Marketing qualification for a basic admin job.
I have worked in recruitment for a large head hunting company and I assure you that not everyone checks everything. It's a bit of a gamble as to whether they will do or not.
I'm not proud of it but the highest paid job I had was given to me because I lied on my cv and said I had a professional qualification to do with marketing that I didn't have.
Wrong. Yes. I'm being honest now though.
I think a lot of people lie on cvs.
No, but while reviewing applications for my boss, I did see a CV of someone I had worked with a year or two previously and she was claiming to have done many parts of my role that I knew she hadn't (and many of other people in the team too!). So I would say no to exaggerating as you never know who is going to see it.
However, I am basing this on the fact that I work in a fairly specialist role and everybody knows somebody within the community of people doing this type of role in my city. This is a great asset in certain circumstances, less helpful in others!!
Thanks all for being so honest.
Actually I don't need to lie about my qualifications as I have the necessary. I'm going for a senior management job and I am currently not in a management role so I'll be punching above my weight if that makes sense?
I think it also depends on things like if you lie and don't get it is anyone likely to remember or know you so you'd always be known as a liar? Or is it more that without lying you wouldn't have a chance anyway so you might as well try your luck?
If it doesn't kill anyone (ie preventing to be a surgeon or whatever, obviously madness) then it's fair game isn't... people will hate me saying that but as someone who's worked in recruitment and marketing half the battle is opening the door and then selling yourself.
Ahhh I see. So all you need to do is focus on the management aspects of jobs you've previously done.. twist the words etc. And maybe tweak your job titles, add something about supervising or something like that.
Fairylea - Yes, spot on.
I can answer all of the questions but because the role itself is senior managment in some - not all - I don't have the strategic experience.
What I would do is make some examples about when you've used initiative and leadership skills and how you've helped to develop strategy in any of the roles you've had.
Think about the new role and find similarities with your old roles and show how you could be an assert to the company / organisation on the basis of achievements you've made.
If you have been a (random example) clerical administrator then I'd change thisto clerical administration supervisor or clerical administration with management experience as a sub title so when they scan your details it will catch their eye, then hopefully it they do check up it wont be too far from the truth anyway!
Not exaggerated anything, but have lied about qualifications & experience by leaving them off. Have also talked up things (positive spin as opposed to lies).
Thanks Fairylea, I see what you mean.
No. It's fraud-procuring a pecuniary by deception. Bad idea.
The problem with lying is that if you are caught out then you have really blown it. Depending on your world then word may get out and that has an even greater impact. I would certainly never claim qualifications or job experience that I didn't have (eg I'd not big up a job title, and would only say 'with management experience' if that was actually true).
Also if you say you have experience in something that really matters to the recruiter then it is highly possible that it will come up as an interview question and you will look very stupid (believe me I've seen this happen on a number of occasions and it is not a good experience!)
However, there is nothing wrong (indeed everything right) with being creative and really thinking about how your experience fits what they are asking for. So if you know you can perform in the role, why do you think that, how would you evidence that? if there are gaps how would you address that, what have you done that's similar and transferable?
I haven't, and I don't need to in my work. HOWEVER, women traditionally undersell themselves and men traditionally oversell themselves... they get the bigger promotions. Can you big yourself up, massively, while only stretching truth rather than actually lying?
No I wouldn't. Someone at work did this a few years ago with original application. For whatever reasons, the person lost their copy of the original application with the embellished info. Fast forward to this year and another position came available and she applied for it, and of course had to put in another application. The applications didn't match. The person no longer has a job because lying was regarded as gross misconduct.
I've not lied but 'spun' the question. Eg - while I haven't directly managed people I have directed several (am dram) plays which calls for people management skills, budgeting, negotiating skills etc'
I'm not planning on lying at all and I have experience of pretty much all they are asking for, however the job is a senior management position overseeing a department so it would in affect be a massive jump from worker bee to queen bee, if that makes sense? So I would be exagerating my experience in terms of strategic experience.
You say you have pretty much all the experience they're looking for MrsW, so work it, how else do people make the leap from worker to queen B. Complete the application with the mindset that you have done this level of work before while keeping true to your experience - I bet you come across well.
Thanks Chandelierforagirl! Nice name btw.x
Goodluck OP, (and thanks, I was in need of a giggle one night!)
No, but I think I may have mentioned I enjoy gardening in my free time. (Why, why, why????) I've spent two years waiting for my boss to ask me a plant related question which I will have no idea about.
Don't worry about punching above your weight. That is how people get on in the world, by putting themselves forward.
Thanks LynetteScavo - \LOL! Why gardening?? You're right, don't ask and you don't get! x
Fairylea - ok, I am going to be the one...can't believe that you actually advocate people lie, having worked in recruitment! I work in HR and detest people who lie, it wastes people's time and actually tells me a lot about a person's integrity.
I recently interviewed someone who was just about to get a job offer from me - then they revealed that they had lied about their previous salary. I have zero tolerance for that, regardless of the reason. They said they had been advised by someone to inflate the numbers because "everyone does it" and "it's expected". Well, I don't, and not in my world.
OP: there is a difference between crafting your experience to fit the profile and lying. Knock yourself out with the former, don't contemplate the latter.
Ok, so if you read an application from me a (random example) an experienced and skilled Marketing Manager for the post of Head of Marketing, what sort of examples would you think were acceptable in terms of crafting rather thank lying, if that makes sense?
In your position I'd be thinking about occasions when the Head of your current team delegated work to you, where you took a lead in a significant project, helped manage any difficult situations etc. Basically showing insight as to what the job entails and that you are ideally placed to step up into it.
Out of curiosity I googled this question to see what online experts would say in this situation, and it was a resounding 'no'! (Here's just one example: www.theladders.com/career-advice/lying-resume-how-far-stretch-truth)
However, obviously you need to somehow let the company know you are capable of this job, or at least get an interview - so maybe focus on your covering letter/email? You could be honest and say you don't have the direct experience they are asking for, but are more than capable of performing in the role and are happy to demonstrate this in an interview should they give you the opportunity.
In my experience, companies will often go for attitude (and aptitude) over experience when all else is equal. It's much easier to train the right person for the job, than it is to try and change the personality or attitude of the wrong person who just so happens to be a perfect match on experience.
I once interviewed for an amazing job - which turned out to be the big break in my career. The interviewer had somehow got the opinion (not from me) that I was experienced. I wasn't - I was completely green. I could sense the interview wasn't going well and he had no interest in me. So I gave him a passionate speech about how I knew I could do the job and was a fast learner etc etc (all true) so he offered to set me a test - probably to get rid of me as much as anything else ;). Long story short, I aced the test, got the job and earned bags of awards for my work.
Sooo (trying to stop this going on too long!) my suggestion is to somehow convey to the employer that you have the attitude and potential for the job and try to convince them to hire you (eg could you sign up for courses on the management skills you need and put this in your CV/cover letter?).
Much better to get genuinely hired for who you really are, than exaggerate and always be waiting to be caught out! Good luck!!!
No is going to advocate lying in the real world. I wouldn't have said do it if you openly asked me when I worked in recruitment. I'm just saying it now because it's anonymous here (!) And because people do it all the time, they just don't get caught. Well a lot of people don't.
I remember once on the apprentice one of the winners - I think it was a guy called lee? - told a bit of a whopper on his cv which they uncovered and Alan sugar still hired him anyway. He said most people exaggerate and a lot of people lie. It's very very common.
Sorry my spelling etc was awful in that last post! I've been up with ds since 5am.
I've started to shave a few years off my employment dates to make me appear younger - I'm convinced I've been overlooked in the past because of age.
If the companies I've worked for discovered a discrepancy in job title, they would revoke your job offer unless you could prove it was a genuine error. I definitely wouldn't lie about that or anything else. However, I don't think it would be an issue to upsell yourself when you describe what your previous and current roles involved. Make sure you mention things like stepping in to cover for your manager, even if only for a single meeting or when they were off for the day, leading project teams or initiatives, mentoring lower grade staff (that one can cover a lot of things, even just training new staff on your systems), planning and implementing process improvements (again, can cover pretty much anything) and don't forget 'teambuilding' if you've ever organised a night out or gone for coffee with your colleagues
Ruffello - you're right, and it does work. I do people's cv's for them (more of a hobby now as i enjoy it) and one woman was 62 and returning to work for financial necessity after 20 years out of work. When I saw her initial cv she had a very long list of jobs and extensive work history which made it obvious how old she was. Sad but true employers don't tend to even interview older applicants. I shaved a lot of it off and tweaked it for her and she now has a job 4 days a week earning above minimum wage. She is very happy and told me recently she received a very good review at work.
Wow - well done Fairylea. She obviously made a great impression at her interview, but she needed to get her foot in the door first, right?
She had looked after her mother through terminal illness and she saw this as a negative thing to put on her cv and had more or less written one line about it but I showed her how to expand it to actually sell such a difficult and emotional experience to an employer (organising her mothers care teams, making sure medication was administered on time and to strict instructions, ensuring the paperwork relating to her mother's will was correctly filed and ordered etc etc.. all sounds a bit cold perhaps but it helped to show she still had a business mind).
Fariylea, I think as women we tend to overlook or undersell just that - the skills and experiences we gain in everyday life outside work. And sometimes with enforced or voluntary time out of our career raising children (or on your friend's case caring for her mother) we can see it as 'dead time' that detracts from our work achievements.
But instead we can look at all the things we do on an everyday basis and apply them to a work setting to demonstrate that we still have key work skills, and have maybe even acquired a few more! I always count my experience outside a normal work environment when telling clients what I am capable of doing.
Sorry to hijack thread.
Fairylea, how do you tweak a CV to disguise the age? I put down employment dates and it's also fairly obvious from my qualifications what my age is (O levels, degree etc).
Also, is it OK to omit qualifications if they're not relevant to the position or if you think you'll look overqualified? Wondering in particular about application forms where you sign that everything is correct. Some application forms state 'relevant qualifications', others ask for education history.
Basically don't go back too far. Use your last 3 jobs and put the dates or last three relevant jobs and dont put dates. If you don't put the dates on then simply say how long you worked there for.... ie "stock controller for mumsnet ltd, 5 year period".
It might still be obvious you're a bit older but it's not the same as putting a year which makes it very obvious.
Definitely omit qualifications if they aren't relevant. And if you have o levels etc I would still put them on but I'd put them atthe end of the cv rather than at the beginning as hopefully they will be wowed by relevant experience etc l first.
Thanks Fairylea. That's been very helpful.
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