Monday, 27 March 2017

Bullshitting on your CV.

Confession time, guys. I may have…I mean, I did… *clears throat*
I lied on my CV. 
For years I actually typed out lies, printed them off and handed them out to people – not just people, potential employers. Surely the worst people to lie to… and yet the people we as a species seem to lie to the most?! Ugh, I am shuddering just thinking about it.
(Source: Almost Writers)
I’ve spoken to friends about this though, the tendency to lie on paper for the sake of gigs, and they all do it too. One friend even said she couldn’t remember her actual real A Level results, after lying about them for so long. (I got CCC, and up until recently my CV said ABB. I’m disgusting.)
Another friend confessed that she put up family friends as references – ones with decent high-paying occupations, who worked for recognisable brands and thus would incite interest if a CV reader noticed them…plus, being family friends, they’d always have her back and sing her praises! Foolproof fib. But slightly evil.
The worst offender, though, would have to be my pal who claimed he could drive. Yup, he said on his CV that he was in possession of a full UK driving licence – and had use of a car. He has never had a lesson in his life, let alone got a set of wheels. He lives in London and gets buses!
Me? I have only ever lied about a couple of school grades, and sometimes the duration of past employment. Like, if I worked somewhere from the end of one month to the beginning of another, I’ll say that whole month – the end of that month, if that makes sense. I don’t give specific dates. Does anyone, though?
When my dad had a look at my CV recently before I applied for an internship, just to suggest any additions or removals or a different form of presentation, he called me out on those lies. I hung my head in shame, because I realised that…yeah. It was dumb. What if I’d been challenged?!
I recently read the magical YA author Lauren James’ blog post, ‘24 Things I’ve Learnt in 24 Years‘, which was essentially a ‘do this and save all the money‘, ‘do that and immediately make life better for yourself’ type of thing. It was a list of super mature life hacks! I loved all the banking tips – and book purchasing tricks – but the item on the list that stuck out the most to me was #11: Over-hype yourself on your CV. There was a little explanation about how your CV is ‘not the place to be modest’ and that yes, being overconfident is a must.
I’d say yes to the over-hyping, always. Don’t be shy – sell yourself! But then…there’s a fine line between hype flaunts and plain lies. Know your limits.
I’m not being a preachy mama here, I’m just saying it because of this: what if they call you out? What if you’re asked about work experience you totally made up?! What if they call for some references from people you invented? Or – and yes, this is the most unlikely, but still – they demand certificates to prove you really did get 3 A*s at A Level when you actually got BDE??! 
Wise up, jobseekers. It’s not worth the lying. Having said that, I know we all do it, and if you’re not going to stop altogether, at least be smarter about it.

(This was originally a guest post I wrote for Almost Writers, 2017.)

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