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Posted at: Dec 5, 2018, 12:29 AM; last updated: Dec 5, 2018, 12:29 AM (IST)

Is it okay to have little white lies in a CV?

Is it okay to have little white lies in a CV?

laurie May

Just a little white lie won’t hurt anyone, will it? Just a small bending of the truth won't mean too much, will it? These are some of the questions that job applicants may be asking themselves. We all know that you do need to be able to back up what you put on your CV, but do we always need to stick to the truth?

Whether it's saying you did something that your colleague actually did, or changing employment dates, or adding certain topics to your college history, you need to be careful with these little white lies. Although they make you seem like a great candidate, and although the competition is so high, they may come back to bite you!

Let’s look at five things you need to have on your CV, and mistakes you need to avoid making, when it comes to telling the truth:

Contact details: Make it easy for employers to get in touch. Include your address, main phone number and email address. Don't use email addresses that look unprofessional. No space for lying here!

2. Employment history: Highlight tasks and responsibilities that show your skills and strengths. Pick things which are relevant to the job you're applying for. As long as you are comfortable talking about it in an interview, and actually doing it in real life, you can include it! Be smart!

Education and qualifications: Talk about skills or knowledge that you’ve developed and highlight any key achievements that relate to the job — in or out of work. You may have to back these points up with a certificate — tell the truth!

Experience: If you haven’t got a lot, or any, work experience, think about other things you've been involved in such as school clubs or volunteering. Yes — this is somewhere you can make you seem a better candidate. Don't make up anything you can't back up under the pressure of an interview.

References: Make sure they are available if you list them! Remember to ask your referees if it's ok to include them, so they will expect someone to be in touch.

Really, it is a question of risk. It is a question of how much of a risk you are willing to take. Although it is easy to embellish your CV, if you can talk the talk, you need to be able to walk the walk. Just remember that you need to be fully prepared to answer questions with conviction, and show real knowledge of everything you say you know. When you falter in a basic answer, or give conflicting information when talking about your skill set, it will be so obvious to the interviewer that you lied on your CV. Think carefully, and understand how you perform under pressure. If you know deep down that you can't keep up the story, don't do it! Play it safe, stick to your strengths, and do your best!

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