It is okay to be assertive about your skills, but faking facts can have dire consequences.
Research has shown that 58 per cent people lie on their resumes and 33 per cent of them said the problem has worsened after the onset of the recession.
Most of the falsifications, shockingly, are associated with educational qualifications. 70 per cent college students said they would be willing to lie to land a dream job.
These are quite common with applicants for senior management positions as well since they go through a series of interviews, their CVs aren't much focused on.
The experience you have should be showcased in a better way. It should highlight your roles and bring out the best in you.
Using resume designs and unique layouts to project creativity are also great.
Be as comprehensive without being repetitive. Explain each position in your experience and all your job responsibilities and skills.
There is no good side to lying on your CV aside from being noticed from the sea of resumes that some companies receive every day.
Slightly exaggerate but know when to stop.
Some may argue that lying on your CV just enough to impress the officials to interview you, is "not really lying" but it's important to realise there are dire consequences for serious offences.
If this is discovered after you are hired, it can result in, not only your job being retracted but will be jeopardising your future prospects
You could, in fact, be better suited to a job than an applicant that has more experience but being caught lying shows the level of credibility, or lack thereof, that you possess.
And credibility is one of the most major things that officials seek in.
How far is too far?
Though lying might get you further on in the selection process, hiring officials aren't living under a rock.
You may be asked to prove your skills in the interview room, your ex-"boss" may be contacted and your educational institutes can be verified with.
Background checks are a major part of the hiring protocol and when those are questionable, they are forced to reject your application.
Nobody cares if you increased a month working at a company but if you create a fictitious company, it's going to come back and bite you at some point.
It is a felony and can hamper possible chances of employment with other companies in the future.
How to improve it anyway
You can use the time spent stressing about what to fib, to improve your CV without all the lies.
Research the company. Find the values it stands for, the qualities that its top employees embody and personality traits that gel with the company culture.
Now more than anything, transferrable skills are taken into consideration.
Showcase passion and talent in soft skills that relate to the post you are applying for.
The interview plays the biggest role for any hiring HR manager and once you ace that and prove yourself to them, an average resume is not going to be a big hurdle at all.
The intent for a job is a major factor in the decision-making and making that clear through knowledge is the best substitute for lack of experience.
Realise there is a difference between exaggerating and plain lies. If the lines between these get blurred, rejections might not be the worst thing you face. That is when things start turning ugly.
The funniest lies on resumes
- An applicant applied for the same position with two different resumes listing different work histories.
- An applicant decided to include "Assistant to Prime Minister" of a country that didn't have a prime minister in the first place.
- A work experience that mentioned "Construction Supervisor" referred to the building of a doghouse
- Under the Achievements section of the CV one applicant wrote 'Being Sober'
- An applicant claimed to have 25 years of experience when he was 32 years of age.
- One guy decided it was okay to use the work experience that his father had, just because their names were the same.
- One candidate explained a gap year by stating that he was getting over the death of his cat for three months
- Another candidate explained an arrest on his record by stating it was because they stole a pig, "but a really small one"
- In answer to "Why should an employer hire you?" -- "I bring doughnuts on Fridays"
- Under comments: "It's best for employers that I not work with people" prospective candidates.
Lead image used for representational purposes only. Image: Carlos Barria/Reuters