Craig Wilson
Craig Wilson

Articles From the Team

Why lying on a CV could leave you searching for a new job

Lessons to be learnt from the sacking of the CEO of search giant Yahoo!

Karen Connolly (writing for the Greater Manchester Business Week) recently highlighted the growing trend amongst job seekers to enhance their career history.  Job seekers, looking to gain a competitive edge, have taken the art of CV manipulation to new levels.

It is not uncommon for most people to 'up-sell' their experience, especially when it comes to interviews and CV's. Making sure the post gets delivered on time turns into 'effective project management and delivery of business critical advice'!!

However, like Scott Thompson, chief executive of Yahoo! found out recently, 'exaggerations' or even worse, lies do not stay buried for long.

In Thompson's case an eagle eyed Yahoo! stakeholder discovered that the computing degree course that was listed on his CV wasn't even offered at the college when Thompson claimed to have studied there.

With competition for jobs fierce and companies’ requirements so high some candidates have taken to lying on their CV just to get through the door and to interview.

As the example of Thompson at Yahoo! shows, if you lie on your CV you are never safe from being found out and subsequently dealt with in a way that can mean losing your job.

The qualifying period for employees to claim unfair dismissal increased from 1 year to 2 years on April 6th 2012. This now gives employers longer to review an employee and should discrepancies be found on a CV easier for them to dismiss staff.

It is clear that lying on a CV is seen as grounds for gross misconduct but for an employer to use it as grounds for dismissal they must highlight this on application forms and subsequent offer letters.

In today's information age, and the growing use of online posting of CVs, there is even more chance that discrepancies in a CV will be found. It is not uncommon for the recruiters at BCL Legal to find that an updated CV, from someone we have assisted in the past, has a role missing or the dates have changed!  In the applicants mind it is not seen as a big deal, as it is often done to "stop their CV from looking like it has too many moves”.

In my opinion, once a role is on your CV it should stay there - of course you can be clever with the presentation but do not leave out or add in elements of your career which if found out can raise questions as to your honesty!

Most popular CV lies

- Job titles: inflation of rank, responsibility, managerial 'level' - Exam/degree grade - Employment dates: unexplained gaps in job history are often filled with fabricated part time/ voluntary/ self-employed positions - Reasons for leaving previous employment

Craig Wilson is a Senior Associate in the in-house legal recruitment team at BCL Legal and can be contacted on 0845 241 0933 or

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