Research says this is the worst mistake you can make on your CV
There's one critical error you could be making in your CV that will decide whether you get asked in for an interview, or whether you'll be receiving yet another generic "We're proceeding with other candidates at this time" rejection.
Is it your font choice (*insert comic sans joke here*)? The fact that it's five pages long? Or that you've still got your first email in your contact details (miss you, firstname.lastname@example.org)?
It's none of those, but please don't see that as permission to include them. It's a mistake you'd think was completely obvious, yet apparently a lot of people are guilty of it.
A research company has asked 460 hiring managers – like, people who actually read your applications and decide on whether they like you or not – and they revealed some alarming statistics that show how many candidates have been making the same error.
So what is this big mistake you should avoid when you make your CV? It's lying. Fibbing, making things up, telling stories, exaggerating, embellishing, and puffing yourself up in untruthful ways. People are inventing internships, making up language skills and boasting about previous work duties they never even did. It seems a no brainer, but the results of the survey show how many people actually fabricate parts of their CV.
They survey was commissioned by Australian recruiting company Robert Half. More than two thirds (68 per cent) of hiring managers said they booted a candidate after finding they had “dishonest or exaggerated information” on their CV.
So what are people lying about the most? Their previous work experience; 60 per cent of managers had come across candidates who exaggerated or flat out lied about previous job roles.
Applications lie about their education or qualifications, and even their technical skills. About half the hiring managers said they've caught applicants out on each of these things. A quarter of the surveyed of managers said they've noticed applicants lying about or making up stories about internships they'd done. A whopping 30 per cent of managers found that people were lying about language skills and previous job duties.
It seems there are a lot of people spinning yarn with their job applications. And this means hiring managers are cracking down harder than ever with their background checks. Director of Robert Half, Andrew Morris, emphasised the critical importance of transparency and honesty during the application and interview stages:
“Many businesses take background checks very seriously, which is made even easier thanks to increased online transparency and social media.
“Once untruthfulness has been discovered, candidates’ professional credibility has been damaged, and their chances of landing the job will be very slim to none, even though they might be ideal for the role.”
So you shouldn't believe what you've seen on Suits. Morris said even tiny "embellishments" on CVs can come back to bite you in the bum. Morris warns:
“If they’re successful in securing the job, and get caught later, it will most likely result in termination, damage the candidate’s reputation, and eliminate the option of obtaining a positive reference for future employment.”
When asked about what makes a good CV, Morris said one that was short, easy to read and matched the job outline to relevant candidate skills would be most successful. Plus, it can't be made up and full of bullsh*t. Just be good humans and don't lie, OK?