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Why You Should Never Lie On Your CV

By Lauren @BubbleJobs

Have you ever told a little white lie on your CV? A slight embellishment or a harmless exaggeration? Well, now might be the time to take it off, because it could land you in jail!

We’ve never condoned lying on your CV here at Bubble, and now that fraud prevention officers have issued a warning to every university up and down the country saying that students can face jail for embellishing the truth on their CVs, there should never be a reason for lying on your job applications.

The guide, called Don’t Finish Your Career Before It Starts, warns that lying about grades and creating extra-curricular activities out of thin air can be classed as fraud by false representation and can carry a maximum jail sentence of ten years.

So, don’t lie or you might end up being thrown into a cell! Possibly. The guide mentions a case study where a former student was jailed for 12 weeks after lying about his qualifications on his job application to be a temporary teacher – but is jail really a fair action to take against students desperate for a job in a difficult climate, and are we really helping them to find a job, or making it even harder?

Well, on top of a jail sentence, lying students could also have their name listed on an Internal Fraud Database for six years if they get caught. What’s more, this list can be accessed by other employers, so this scuppers the student’s chances of landing a grad job in the future… or at least for six years. After which time it will be hard to explain why they were out of work for that length of time, if no one would take them on.

However, while this is a strong deterrent to anyone considering telling a little fib to get a job, is it a bit of an extreme reaction? Well, not really.

You only have to look at this article about a top City lawyer who lied about his qualifications and had traded for five years before he got caught, to see how dangerous a little white lie can be, not only for the person lying, but also for the people using their services.

With an increasing demand for graduates with lots of qualifications and skills, it can be tempting for a student to exaggerate on their CV just to make sure they can get a job in this economy, but it’s just simply not worth it.

Instead, it’s a lot more effective to focus on the positive things on your CV, rather than lying about the bad aspects. Got better experience behind you than your degree marks or A-Level results? Then make sure you feature your experience higher up on your CV and in more detail than your qualifications, and vice versa.

It would be a lot harder to try and lie constantly in an interview and keep up the act than it would be to just be honest and focus on the more impressive parts of your CV to put across the best possible version of yourself to a prospective employer.


Have you ever lied on a CV? How did it work out for you, and do you think these new warnings are fair or way too harsh?

As always, let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @BubbleJobs! 🙂


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