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Hiring managers reveal most common CV lies

Hiring managers reveal most common CV lies – They say that honesty is the best policy, but it appears as though several job seekers are putting that theory to the test. According to a new survey, 49 per cent of Canadian employers have caught a lie on a job applicant’s CV.

The national survey was conducted online on behalf of of more than 400 hiring managers across Canada.

What are the most common CV lies?

Skill sets, responsibilities and job titles are the areas in which job seekers tend to stretch the truth the most. When asked about the most common lies they have come across, employers named the following:

Embellished skill set: 58 per cent
Embellished responsibilities: 53 per cent
Job title: 32 per cent
Academic degree: 31 per cent
Companies worked for: 31 per cent
Dates of employment: 27 per cent
Accolades/awards: 20 per cent

Vying for Attention
It’s not hard to understand why some job seekers feel the need to lie. Capturing – and holding – an employer’s attention is no small feat: Nearly 1 in 4 employers say they spend 60 seconds or less reviewing a CV for a specific position. The majority (65 per cent) do not spend more than five minutes on this task.

Job seekers may also feel the need to enhance their resumes in order to meet all of the requirements in the job posting; however, not meeting 100 per cent of the qualifications is not always a deal breaker. Nearly three in five employers (59 per cent) said, if they were hiring for a position with five key qualifications, they would consider a candidate with only four of those qualifications, and approximately the same amount (61 per cent) would consider a candidate who met only three.

“With increased competition for jobs, job seekers may feel the need to embellish their CVs to stand out and impress hiring managers and recruiters,” said Mark Bania, managing director of CareerBuilder Canada. “What job seekers may not realize, however, is that most hiring managers are willing to consider candidates who do not meet 100 percent of the qualifications. While employers need a certain level of skills, they also want to see job seekers who show enthusiasm, a potential for learning and cultural fit.”

Bania suggests the following tips for job seekers to enhance their CVs – without having to stretch the truth – and set themselves apart in the eyes of hiring managers:

Customize your CV. 59 per cent of hiring managers said they would pay more attention to a CV that is customized for their open position. Customizing your CV to match the requirements of the job makes it easier for hiring managers to see if you are the right fit for the position.

Include a cover letter. 52 per cent of hiring managers would give more attention to a CV that is accompanied by a cover letter. Not only does including a cover letter show extra effort on your part, a cover letter enables you to introduce yourself in a more personal way, give more context around the information on your CV (such as gaps in work history) and explain why you feel you are the best person for the job.

Learn the hiring manager’s name. 31 per cent of hiring managers would give more attention to an application that is addressed to the hiring manager or recruiter by name. Finding out the name of the recruiter or hiring manager in question may take a little bit of detective work, but a simple search on LinkedIn or the company’s career site may point you in the right direction.

Take it online. 23 per cent of hiring managers would give more attention to a CV that includes a link to the candidate’s online portfolio, blog or website. Not only does providing this information help hiring managers learn more about you, it also sets you apart from other candidates.

The survey was conducted among 500 employees and 400 hiring managers in Canada. The interviews were conducted online by Redshift Research in June & July 2015 using an email invitation and an online survey. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 4.4 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.


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