A CV is an advertisement for yourself. It has a single aim, which is to get you an interview.
True, the awkward questions will come, but they will be at the interview stage. By then you will have had time to prepare honest but sympathetic explanations for whatever the problem is.
When writing your CV or resume, you should always bear in mind that even the most common lie on a CV can harm your career.
Here are a few types of lie people are often tempted to tell on their CV and suggestions on how to address them.
Lying on a CV about qualifications
Grade inflation – When in doubt, leave it out!
Why tell the employer you got Grade A in Maths instead of Grade B? Just don’t specify what grades you got. Or tell them you offer good secondary / high school standards of literacy and numeracy.
Lying on a CV about skills
If you can’t speak a foreign language fluently any more, you don’t drive or are not that great using Excel either remove it from your CV or do the following.
Step one: find out how much this matters. For example, some companies have city branches and others deep in the country. However, they only issue a single Job Description. The driving might not matter.
Step Two: put on your CV that you are enrolled for driving lessons, business German or ECDL courses. Then make it true.
Lying on a CV about length of time in post / job hopping
Do you have lots of short-term jobs in a short space of time? There’s no reason to lie about it. Leave out the months, just put the year.
If you temped with agencies, don’t weary the Hiring Manager’s eye with a long list of employers. Give the inclusive dates for agency work, select the agency that offered the best assignment, and give full detail of the most prestigious work you did for them.
Remember that a good interviewer will probably ask you to explain lengthy gaps in employment, so make sure you have an honest answer ready.
Lying on a CV about hobbies and interests
A survey carried out in the UK by You.gov showed that almost 30% of the people questioned admitted to lying about personal interests on their CV.
Rather than tell a fib, read how important listing hobbies and interests on your CV is.
How should you deal with health problems and a criminal record?
These are serious. Yet still you have every right to leave them off your CV.
Lying on a CV about Health problems
If your condition is managed, you can tell them in interview. If it isn’t managed take active steps towards achieving this. You may be entitled to “reasonable adjustment”. If you were off sick with a health problem in the past it may show up on your CV as a gap and you need to prepare a positive account of it. Perhaps you gained new skills? Worked from home (self employed) on good days? Think about it.
Lying on a CV about a criminal record
With a criminal record you should get professional advice about your individual situation. Even if they don’t ask, you should probably come clean at interview. If you were in prison for any length of time you may have worked or gained qualifications. Include this in your resume, using the name of the college or organisation that came in and did the teaching.
In short: on your CV never explain, never apologise.