According to a recent survey, the CV is often embellished when applying for a job. But what is acceptable here and what can entail serious consequences?
Imagine that someone with three years of professional experience applies for a position as a marketing manager, and that applies to the competition. Sounds good, doesn't it? But after taking up the job, it quickly becomes clear that something can't be right: the new employee did his job poorly and apparently had no knowledge of basic industry rules.
In such a case, it is not uncommon for the current HR department to follow up with the old company, as happened in a similar situation. It then turned out that the new employee had not worked for three years as a manager, but only three weeks as an intern in the company – and had simply lied in his CV.
Lies in the CV – you have to distinguish
Lies in the CV can sometimes cause trouble, dismissal and, in some cases, even a court hearing. In an interview with the Tagesspiegel, lawyer Pascal Croset clarifies questions about fluffing in the application documents.
According to Croset, there are three categories of resume lies:
- Exaggerating/beautifying: In the application process, there is often a desire to present oneself in a positive light. According to Croset, occasionally it is not a problem to stretch the truth a little. Employers would even expect this.
- Lying about trivialities: If someone feigns interest in a certain topic, this can be formally regarded as a lie. But: It is important to check how relevant it actually is for the advertised position in the end.
- Lying about facts: A harsh reaction from the employer, including possible claims for damages, is to be expected if someone falsifies documents or fakes formal training.
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As a general rule, refrain from lying in your CV if possible – and also from a few other things.
Where do you lie the most on your resume?
The job market is competitive and applicants want to prevail over the competition. According to a study by the portal CVapp.de, this is probably one of the reasons why almost 60 percent of respondents admit to having lied in their CV. Here, by the way, the men are ahead: Of them, around 71 percent have lied in the documents, among the women it is just under 46 percent.
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These areas are the areas where the most embellishment, exaggeration and lies take place:
|79 percent||Skills and competencies (to fit the company/team)|
|74 percent||Salary (increase of the previous salary in order to have a better basis now)|
|58 percent||Job title (e.g. senior manager, junior manager, manager)|
|56 percent||Personal interests and hobbies (address the company and what it wants to hear)|
|52 percent||Educational qualification (university does not exist, doctorate in the long term, etc.)|
According to the study, even age does not seem to be left out: The Handelsblatt writes here that 13 percent of respondents would lie about old age, or have already lied. A grey area – Croset says: "There will be no causality for small deviations." So if you make yourself just a few years older or younger, you don't necessarily have to fear consequences. But here, too, it always depends on the individual case.
What are the consequences of CV lies?
Around 60 percent of all respondents admitted to having lied in their CV. By the way, the percentages of men are higher here than for women. (Symbolic image) © Mint Images/IMago
Falsifying or lying on your resume can carry various risks, including:
- Discovery and reputational damage: Employers can discover inconsistencies in the resume through background checks. If lies are exposed, this sometimes leads to reputational damage and has a negative impact on career prospects.
- Termination/Job Loss: If a lie is discovered on the resume after employment, it can lead to immediate termination. The employer may lose confidence and question the employee's professional competence and integrity.
- Legal ramification: In some cases, bounce is considered fraud or forgery of documents, which can lead to legal ramifications – including possible claims for damages or criminal prosecution.
- Career limitations/difficulties in future applications: If a lie is discovered on the resume, it may have a long-term impact on professional development. Employers might be reluctant to trust someone who has already lied, and future applications could be made more difficult.
- Loss of credibility/professional reputation: Exposing lies on the resume can lead to a significant loss of credibility and professional reputation. This can affect relationships with colleagues, superiors, and customers.
This article was created with the help of machines and carefully reviewed by editor Anna Heyers before publication.