Skip to main content

The truth about cvs

How accurate are CVs/Resumés?

Once, a long time ago, I knew a young man who had come to South Africa from England.  He was a television technician who landed up sharing a house with two draughtsmen.  They were earning better salaries than he was, so he decided that it was an excellent career choice.
They taught him the basics and off he went and got a job as a draughtsman.   He was fired at the end of the first week!  Undaunted, he tried again.   Six months, and 5 jobs later, he was a draughtsman and still is today.

I am not sure if this would still be possible, nor if there is a moral to this story, maybe amoral is more like it.   He did work extremely hard to improve his skills, though, and shared his questionable career path with the final company.  They decided to take a chance, and the rest is history.

The value of secure employment within challenging economic conditions creates an environment where people resort to any number of tactics to gain an advantage – including seriously embellishing the truth on the Curriculum Vitae (CV)/Resumé.

At Accsys, we recruit both for ourselves and our clients through our Recruitment Division, PeoplePlace.  Fari Chibgwe, who heads up the division, says that they have noticed at least 1 in 5 CVs misrepresent the truth.  She says “It is clear to us that candidates understand that the document is a way to market themselves effectively and try to make them as attractive as possible.”

In broader discussions with people in the Recruitment and HR space, it seems that practitioners are concerned about the level to which some candidates exaggerate their credentials, particularly with reference to work experience, qualifications and salary.

Among the more common problems are:
·       the use of friends or peers as references
·       significant exaggeration about designations and responsibilities
·       inaccurate dates
·       over-emphasis or misleading details about strengths, achievements and successful projects.

It is difficult to quantify the situation and there is no real way of measuring the precise degree to which people are padding their CVs.

While companies do run expensive and time consuming background checks, sometimes the truth only comes out after commencement of employment.   This incurs additional costs for companies.

The best advice she offers to candidates to truly stand out amongst competitors, in the right way, is to tell the truth and highlight the positive, whilst not attempting to hide the negative.

When sharing situations that may be seen as negative, it is difficult not to try and put a positive and possibly inaccurate spin on what happened.   Simply saying that you made a mistake and learned from the experience might serve better in the long term.

A resumé should put your skills, qualifications and experience in an attractive light, emphasising the areas which are most relevant for the applied position.   Once inaccuracies filter in, it becomes difficult to remove them later.  


Links, References and Notes

Accsys provides people management solutions ie Payroll, Human Resources (HR), Time and Attendance as well as Access Control/Visitor Management.
The company develops, implements, trains and services our solutions.  We provide readers, turnstiles, booms and CCTV.
We run both on premise and in the cloud, as well as mobile options for ESS.  Recruitment, online education and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) are part of our offering, too.
http://www.accsys.co.za/accsys-peopleplace-talent-management
email:      tschroenn@accsys.co.za
twitter:   @TerylSchroenn




Note:   Thank you for reading Teryl@Work.   Should you wish to use any of the material, please acknowledge this blog as the source.

Popular posts from this blog

Resignation - keep building relationships

Resignation – avoid burning those bridges It has been a great pleasure working with a colleague like you. Now, you are off to your next big challenge! Good luck and farewell!
Isn’t that what we all want to hear when we leave?  We were appreciated and we will be missed.
The need for all parties to maintain professional conduct in the event of resignation is critical, particularly now when we are working within an unsettled socio-economic climate. Employees should avoid damaging relationships, and employers need to adopt a neutral approach and ensure that there are policies and processes that enable the separation to be objectively handled.  For example: ·A formal resignation letter is required·A formal acceptance of resignation is issued confirming any special conditions·An exit interview takes place·Handovers are planned and executed
Our HR team advise those who resign their position to adhere to a few golden rules. Failure to do so could harm whatever bonds have been formed at the workpla…

Favourite Words

Shambolic – it simply sounds better to me than chaotic.. Do lots of people have favourite words or just a few of us nerds? As everybody is starting to think holidays (or maybe you prefer to vacation), it seemed a good time for a different type of blog. Have you noticed how many words with pleasant associations sound more attractive than those that describe the negative. Watching a TV quiz show the other night made me wonder. The contestant hated bulbous and gusset! There have always been some words that appeal to me, triskaidekaphobia being one. I now know that I had the meaning wrong! I thought it meant fear of Friday the 13th, but it is simply a fear of the number 13, so how does paraskevidekatriaphobia grab you? That is the real word for fear of Friday the 13th. Love it! Now I prefer rural to bucolic, but Robert Beard (see below) selected the latter as one of his favourites. Effervescent is a gorgeous word, so descriptive and onomatopoeic while ethereal makes me think of gossamer and fairie…

What I learned from the snake queue...

The lesson of the snake queue
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it or Leave well enough alone.  But do we?  Oh no, we are always trying to improve on things, no matter how well they work.
Progress does come from constant improvement, but it needs to be an improvement!
Hence the lesson of the snake queue… I know that life isn’t always fair, I also don’t believe that everything happens for a reason (see below). However, the advent of the snake queue made me feel so happy.  I knew that, once I was in it, I would get served next.  I didn’t have to decide which shopping trolleys in front of me had more items, and pick a line accordingly, I simply joined at the rear and waited my turn. Those stores who have duplicate snakes facing each other do add a small element of stress in terms of which one to select, but I cope quite well with this one if I have my Kindle…. The same at airports, pharmacies and banks, such a fair system. Then, a colleague and I went to the USA and arrived at Washington Airport with…