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When is it OK to lie on a CV?

There are many occasions when one might be tempted to try to disguise the truth with a little bit of fiction on their CV.

It could simply be a matter of embarrassment at a redundancy, or an unexpected period of unemployment, or it could be something else.

The temptation might be to extend dates surrounding the problem.

For example in order to conceal a 4 month period of unemployment 2 months could be added onto the date of leaving the previous job and a further 2 months to the start of the next role.

It has been known for people to invent a job or an activity to fill the space left by no work.

This has included "Consultancy" or "Project Work" where the writer performed various tasks on behalf of companies or individuals - real or fictitious.

But why the embarrassment? Why feel the need to cover up these periods at all?

Well the perception of employers could be that there is something wrong with an applicant who couldn't or didn't find work for a period of time.

Did they not try because they were lazy?

Were they rejected from jobs because they were not good enough?

In reality, of course, there are any number of very valid reasons why someone has not secured employment - it could even be as simple as plain old bad luck!

There are 2 messages here.


If you get caught - and employers increasingly will check out areas of a CV whether or not they find them questionable - the consequences will be severe.

I have known of numerous instances when someone has lied on their CV and been found out, and the outcome has rarely been positive, in most cases resulting in the immediate termination of the offer or sacking from the job.

2. If you do find yourself unexpectedly in between jobs or out of work for anything more than a month then do something pro-active that will be beneficial to you and that can be put on your CV.

"Project Work" and "Consultancy" are very valid uses of time just so long as they are genuine and you can support your claim with details.

Consider taking a vocational course and acquire a skill you didn't have before.

More important though is how everything is presented on the CV.

The accomplishments achieved and the language used to describe them can transform a CV from a document that you are afraid doesn't hide a problem well enough into an honest and compelling portrayal of a highly desirable set of skills and experiences which will do a lot more for you than just withstand scrutiny.

If you are not sure about yours, get it checked over by a professional or – better still – get them to write it for you.

Before you send yours to anyone else get your CV checked out. Get a professional’s opinion on whether it gives enough compelling reasons why you should be interviewed, or whether you will never hear from that prospective employer again.

If it needs work the professional can put it right for you quickly and cheaply so your application will not be wasted!

Click on FREE Advice and Checking and not only get free advice on how to write a CV, but also you will receive a free, comprehensive report on the strength of your CV.

These are free services, and you would only need to pay anything if you ask to have your CV written or re-written - there is absolutely no obligation whatsoever.

Did you know? We also offer FREE LinkedIn profile checking and reports.

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