But where do you draw the line, and when does polishing your CV just simply become lying? You definitely need to put your best foot forward when writing your CV, but remember it still needs to be your foot.
So, is honesty always the best policy?
CV Writing – Put your best foot forward
Your CV is your first impression, and if you’re not selling yourself it could be your last. Employers review hundreds of applications meaning you only have seconds to grab their attention. This makes it more tempting to bend the truth, to ensure you get noticed. But, presenting the best you and flat out lying are two very different things.
If an employer is looking for a 1st Class Degree in Engineering, never just add it to your CV. Yes you’ll get noticed, but then you’re going to have to prove your claims and that is going to be hard if it’s not the truth. So should you state you don’t have the right level of qualification? No. Well that might seem contradictory but there is a big difference between a lie and positioning.
Instead of being untruthful or making it obvious you don’t fit the criteria, elevate what you do have. If you achieved a 2nd degree why not just display that you have a degree in Engineering without putting the classification. It’s much easier to present why you’re the right candidate despite not checking every box at an interview. Put the information that is going to attract attention.
Be prepared to prove it
If it’s in your CV, be prepared to have your claims put to the test. You might get lucky and make it past a telephone interview or even the face to face interview, but eventually any white lies will come back to bite you. Most employers are now doing extensive background checks, whether that’s asking for evidence or even directly contacting your previous educational institutes or employers. Don’t get caught in a web of lies.
Trust and integrity is essential, but this can easily be lost in the application process. Don’t claim to be beyond what you are and instead focus on how to perfect what you already have. Be the best you, but be you. Simply if you don’t have the proof – leave it out.
CV Writing – Stand out from the competition
Highlighting your key accomplishments and marketable skills is a necessity to get ahead, but tailoring yourself and linking your skills to a job advert is even more important. Don’t get fixated on being the best candidate and instead focus on aligning yourself with the industry/role you’re pursuing.
Ideally any employer is looking for the most qualified or experienced candidate, but more than that they are looking for the right skill set and fit. So if you haven’t got everything they are looking for, don’t lie but emphasis how you match an employer’s requirements.
Start by re-reading the job advert several times, ensuring you know what they are looking for. Reflect on how you have genuinely demonstrated those skills and behaviours, considering key examples. Then input these honest skills into your CV, not just saying you can do it but showing it.
So what’s the verdict?
If you want to progress then an honest CV is far more impressive than something made up. Be open to pinpointing what makes you unique but avoid flat out lies, these can easily be uncovered.
Concentrating on what makes you the right candidate for a vacancy and making yourself custom fit, will mean that stretching the truth isn’t even needed.
Remember a quality, tailored CV is the first step in getting hired.
CV Writing Is Honesty the Best Policy. As a matter of afct,. We’re taught from a young age to be honest. Never lie and always tell the truth. But when you’re eager to get ahead and stand