This article, on Truthful CVS, is from Aussie site www.Brainbox.com.au
Following the advice readers have given to recent graduate Dingo, I thought it might be worthwhile recounting my experiences of stretching the truth on CVs.
I don’t want to get bogged down in an ethical argument, so instead I’ll just tell it like it is and let you make up your own mind.
What happened when I exaggerated my skills
A few years back, I came to Sydney after a while working overseas. I had about a year’s Lotus Notes experience under my belt.
I’d worked mostly on one project and learnt some important skills.
At that time, there was a lot of demand for people with Lotus Notes skills. Employers were struggling to fill positions. It seemed I’d be a shoo-in for a good job.
However, after talking to a few agencies, it became apparent that the demand was for people with more skills and experience than me.
A year’s experience wasn’t going to cut it. I read up and practised at home, but it was obvious I was a year or two from having what they wanted.
I decided to fake it. My CV was based on the truth, but an exaggerated version. I doctored my CV.
Good Interviews Lined Up
Within weeks, I had a few good interviews lined up. My big hope was that the person interviewing me would be some kind of manager, with even less of a clue than I had.
In fact, that happened a few times during a first interview, but by the time it came to the second one, there was always some technical guy there.
Inevitably, tey’d out me as the semi-fraud I was. It was pretty humiliating.
Eventually, I decided to bring my CV back closer to reality.
The phone stopped ringing, or when it did they’d tell me “Call us when you have more experience”.
I was at the point when I’d pretty much given up on an IT career, and was starting to look for jobs in other fields.
Phone Rang from Recruitment Agency
One evening, the phone rang. It was an agency I sent my CV to months before. They had a Notes role at an investment bank.
I was a bit wary, having been through this process and come out bruised and battered a few times before, but I decided to go ahead.
I went through an interview with the agency and three interviews at the bank. Rather than faking it, which was obviously going to get me nowhere, I took a more honest approach. I said I had some experience, but was keen to learn more.
When they asked me about something I didn’t know, I admitted it, but said I was willing to learn.
Eventually, I got the job. It all went well and I pretty much haven’t looked back since.
During my time with the bank, I sharpened up my skills. I spent many nights reading up and making sure I became an expert in my field.
I became quite friendly with my boss. He later confided in me that he’d appreciated my honesty.
Furthermore, he said he’d interviewed quite a few candidates who’d obviously faked it. He felt they were treating him like an idiot.
So there you go, that’s my Truthful CVs story. Take from it what you will.
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