Main image of article Lying on Your CV or Résumé? Here's How They'll Nail You.
It’s a sad fact that some folks lie on their CVs and résumés. Sometimes, they lie by adding jobs or skills they never had, or fictionalizing achievements. There are also “lies of omission,” in which they leave off information that could affect a hiring manager’s decision-making. Lying is bad, of course. Fortunately, it seems that many tech pros aren’t willing to engage in that sort of behavior while applying for jobs. In a new survey from Blind, some 90 percent of (anonymous) respondents said that they’d never embellished or lied on their CVs, résumé, or LinkedIn profile. (Blind surveyed some 10,364 tech pros in total.) As with virtually all Blind surveys, the results also varied by company. For example, some 12.50 percent of respondents from SAP (or so they said) lied or embellished their materials; on the other end of the scale, only 2.83 percent of those who worked for Salesforce said they’d lied or embellished. (As with all such anonymous surveys, you have no choice but to take the respondents’ claims of employer at face value; there’s always the possibility that some could be lying.) Lying is bad, and here’s how recruiters and hiring managers usually catch the tech pros who try it:

They’ll Make Extra Reference Checks

Many tech pros are willing to provide references who will say glowing things about them. But hiring managers and recruiters will sometimes ask other folks for their opinion. For example, if a recruiter discovers that they share four mutual contacts with the candidate, they might reach out to one or two of them for feedback. If what they hear doesn’t align with the picture presented by the CVs, résumé, or social profile… well, let’s just say the job candidate will have a serious problem.

They’ll Research Your Education

Sure, a recruiter or hiring manager might not check up on whatever you listed as your education… but many of them can (and will). There are lots of background-check services and organizations such as the National Student Clearinghouse that can help verify degrees and enrollment.

They Know How Job Duties Align with Titles

Any recruiter or hiring manager who has been in the tech game long enough knows the responsibilities of various positions. So if you try to make your previous roles seem “bigger” or more accomplished, chances are good they’ll see right through it. Associate-level employees are rarely given the chance to spearhead initiatives, for instance.

They’ll Test You on Skills

Listing dozens of tech skills might get you past the automated keyword-scanning systems that many HR departments use to source CVs and résumés (unless you pack too many in, in which case those systems will reject your materials as egregiously overstuffed), but flesh-and-blood recruiters and hiring managers will actually quiz you about your abilities—if they don’t subject you to a battery of tests. Don’t put down any skill unless you’re willing to prove yourself in front of a keyboard, even if you think it’s a good way to get your foot in the door.