You spot your dream job vacancy and smirk as you read down the desired experience list – until something pops up to truly wipe the smile off your face. One of the key areas of experience or expertise required is something that you just don’t possess. What to do? Well, they won’t know if you throw in a little white lie, will they?
It’s tempting, isn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s also a course of action that is likely to mean that you completely blow your chances of landing the job. By including misleading information on your CV, you’re providing your potential employer with the perfect opportunity to trip you up. If you say that you have extensive experience in a particular area, it’s going to come up in the interview. When it does, you’re going to have to blag your way through the relevant questions.
You might fancy yourself as somebody who can wing it through any situation but interviewers are looking precisely for any sign that a candidate is being untruthful. If you stumble at all – and the odds are that you will – it’s going to come off one of two ways: either it’ll be obvious that you’ve lied to the employer or you’ll just look like you’re unsure of yourself. Either way, you’re unlikely to get the job.
Even if you feel like the interview goes well and you’ve managed to pull the wool over the employer’s eyes, you can’t get too cocky. In this age of social media, it’s not hard for savvy employers to do a little research of their own above and beyond the information your supply on your CV. If something seems amiss from either your CV or interview, they’ll head to LinkedIn or similar sites and dig around to see what they can find. If any of the information you’ve given them conflicts with what they can find out about you with a little research, they’ll toss your application in the bin.
Even the best case scenario has its own issues; if you fool the interviewer and land the job, you’re going to be like a rabbit caught in the headlights once you start working for the company in question. It’ll quickly become apparent that you don’t know what you’re doing and you’ll likely be out of the door before your probation period is up.
If you haven’t got the picture yet, the message is simple. Don’t include misleading information in your CV. There’s really no need to; just because you don’t have a certain area of expertise, that doesn’t mean that an employer is going to ignore you if you have other strengths to bring to the role. Tailor your CV to the role in question and you’ll be halfway there – if you’re applying for insurance jobs, for instance, talk up relevant experience from pervious jobs that could be adapted to the roles you’re going after. Even if your previous jobs haven’t been in that sector there will be certain strengths that you can carry across – point them out and you’ll get the employer’s attention.