Why you should not lie on your CV. For a start, lying on your CV IS illegal; Lee McQueen, ex Apprentice winner/liar raised his head early to be on the BBC breakfast show. Lee infamously lied on the CV he had provided to the programme makers and was found out. His lie had been to state on his CV that he had been at University for two years when he had only managed 4 months. The story then referenced remarks that Baroness Deech had made in regard to the validity of references for job candidates. The Baroness was quoted as saying, “references are not worth the paper that they are written on” because the Data Protection Act revision of 1998 makes it difficult for those writing a reference to be honest as the content can be seen by the person concerned.
Lee was made to feel uncomfortable by BBC presenter Sian Williams while Lee tried to plug his latest venture. Angel Baron was also a guest and added an opinion from a HR perspective suggesting that the DPA prevents/discourages what she deemed subjectivity/conjecture behaviour from previous employers or educational bodies.
But what does it all mean to you?
3 reasons why you should not lie on your CV are:
1. The first issue is that lying on your CV is illegal.
It’s a crime under the 2006 Fraud Act (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and the maximum penalty is 10 years. The first person to be jailed was a Stoke-on-Trent man in 2009, who falsely claimed to have a doctorate and masters degree when applying for an NHS job.
2. It can taint your reputation:
Take Lee as the example. His lie could be described as innocuous. He stretched a period of time to disguise a chronological hole in his CV. As lies go it could be said that it’s not a big one. It certainly wasn’t a deal breaker for Lord Sugar as Lee won and became the Apprentice. Probably because it does not have any perceived relevance to events after. Did Lee benefit in his career? Is Lee’s career success significantly more important than him masking time when he was just kicking his heels? Probably. Did Lee win the competition on merit for being the consistent individual in the process? Lord Sugar thought so. Will Lee always be reminded of his Lie? Yes.
3. Can you live with your lie or will your moral compass spin infinitum?
This is, for most of us, the crux of the issue. The weight (or mass – depending on your mindset!) of a lie and how it sits in your psyche is directly linked to time. The further back in time the less of a perceived threat and thus less of a concern. The shorter a time period is the more of a threat the lie becomes. Think of it in forensic terms. The fresher it is, the easier to reference it becomes. And this is what Lee had hoped for, what has now become the irony that will continue to gnaw at him and shadow his current venture and future endeavours. Sian Williams knew it was a weakness and Lee squirming confirmed this.
Therefore, the reason why you should not lie on your CV is simple. There is no reason to do so, ever. It really can cause you problems. In the morning when you stumble into the bathroom to clean your teeth or to have a shave, and you look in the mirror are you ready for the doubts that you can see in your minds eye? Personally, I’m with the Baroness on this argument, and the more I consider it, the more the ramifications seem to be positive.