Feature

Fake resume facts are a risk to your future employment

Lies on your CV can get you sacked.
Lies on your CV can get you sacked. Creatas Images

WHEN does a little embellishment on a resume or CV become an outright lie?

I doubt there would be many people who could hand-on-heart honestly say they've never stretched the truth a little, be it in a job application or otherwise.

But how much stretching can the truth take before a little exaggeration becomes a full-blown lie, and how far can you push it on a resume before the truth is lost behind a curtain of tall tales?

Ultimately, while plumping your resume with some half-truths might get you the job, odds are you'll get found out.

While it's generally not a crime, it's absolutely grounds for dismissal.

Government training organisation Upskilled conducted a study last year and found almost one third of us believed honesty was far from the best policy when compiling a resume, and would happily lie about experience, training and qualifications.

A further 21% admitted they felt ashamed and embarrassed about their job and lack of career progression or qualifications.

Upskilled's Mark Sexty said the results were worrying, and in some cases criminal.

"The fact that Australians are feeling the need to lie about their professional skills highlights the need for more access to education and training," he said.

While the research might be a year or so old, I doubt there's been a sudden about-face to overwhelming honesty in the past 12 months.

I've heard plenty of stories of people using friends as references - add a fake name, a bogus job title and a legitimate phone number and you've got a glowing reference just waiting to be called upon.

There's even at least one website offering a similar service - for a nominal fee, they'll provide deceptive references when you need them most.

That's outright lying. But what about the middle ground? It could be the trickiest to navigate.

Is lying by omission really lying? If I didn't mention being sacked by previous employers, is that such a bad thing?

What about listing unfinished qualifications? Two years of a three year degree still counts, right?

In these days of the all-pervasive internet, it would be a game jobseeker who blatantly lied on an application. It's just too easy to be found out.

There's a line, but where it's drawn is likely up to the individual.

If you're prepared to push the truth too far in your application, you should also be prepared to be pushed out the door if you're found out.

Topics:  employment, jobs, jobseeker advice



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