Graduate News

Would I Lie To Yahoo?

Tom Newham

Thursday 10th May 2012
job applications, searching for jobs, cvs

"Graduate recruitment is an odd process. Employers are - to put it bleakly - there to make sure that if you're not the very best candidate for the job, you don't get it."

Would I Lie To Yahoo?


Graduate recruitment is an odd process. Employers are - to put it bleakly - there to make sure that if you're not the very best candidate for the job, you don't get it. You, on the other hand, are there to make sure that they pick you - even if you're not actually the best candidate. Statistically speaking you're unlikely to be at the top of the heap, and even if you are you've got to prove it.

It's not surprising, then, that increasing numbers of job-hunters are resorting to increasingly imaginative means to impress their selectors - including what some might call a judicial application of the facts.

There's a very fine line between embellishing and lying in a CV, on an application form or in an interview. Talking up your experience is part and parcel of the process, and underplaying your hand for fear of appearing arrogant is unlikely to get you anywhere. But inventing experience, or worse, fabricating qualifications, is a risky business indeed.

That, at least, is the lesson Scott Thomas has learned. He's the CEO of internet giant Yahoo, and like most people, he doesn't have a degree in Computer Science. His mistake, though, was to claim that he did. And Yahoo's mistake was to believe him. Now both Thomas and the board that appointed him are under deserved scrutiny from shareholders who quite justifiably want to know how that pretty whopping porky slipped through the net.

Of course, not all graduate recruiters have the time to go sniffing around to make sure that everything is what it seems. That's why psychometric tests and CV screening services are increasingly popular. Employers looking for the cream of university leavers are not averse to going to groups like the Risk Advisory Group (RAG), who offer amongst other things checks on credit records, history with the law, academic referencing and qualification legitimacy.

Not all employers can afford that type of service. If you doctored your GCSE results to look a little more favourable on the CV you handed in to for the bar job you're working to keep you going, you probably don't have much to worry about. But if you're going for the big time, there's a reasonable chance you'll get caught.

The lesson here is pretty simple. By all means show off whatever you've got to back up your case for that spot, but remember that fibbing to a potential employer could well come back to bite you some day.

Yes wise words so don't be tempted to lie on your CV. Writing a CV is a skill in itself but help is at hand with our CV Makeover Kit put together for you by our experts.