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Why you shouldn’t lie about your skills and qualifications on a CV

Qualifications on a CV
Be honest about your skills and qualifications on a CV or you could end up in hot soup. Source: Shutterstock

It may be tempting to falsify your qualifications on a CV to make yourself look impressive and land that dream job, but the repercussions of doing so really aren’t worth it.

Not only should you avoid lying about your qualifications, you should also be honest about your skills, experience, certificates and any other information included on your CV.

It can be frustrating when you want to apply for a job where you almost meet the criteria, so you might think that adding in an extra qualification or skillset will be harmless.

Fresh grads are particularly prone to lying on their CVs as many lack the experience needed for certain jobs.

But the truth is, in the long run, it’s a very dangerous game to play and you might end up ruining your career entirely. Here are some reasons to avoid lying about your qualifications on a CV:

You could get caught out

In the age of the digital footprint, it can be very easy for employers to find information about anyone online.

If you lie about where you went to school, an internship or where you earned your degree, a quick Google search could end up showing a mismatch.

The hiring manager can also search for contact information about your previous employers or school to confirm that what you say on your CV is true.

Employers are increasingly checking up on employees on social media, so be wary – even if they tell you it’s something they don’t do.

If they suspect something’s off, they might do more snooping around and you could end up not getting the job, or even getting fired if you’re already been employed.

You could get arrested

Source: Scott Metzger Cartoons

In some countries, lying about qualifications on a CV or even on a LinkedIn or Twitter profile can land you in jail.

In South Africa, it has just been reported that those who are found lying on their CV or social media profiles could be sentenced to up to five years. This is in response to multiple cases of high-flying executives in the country lying about their qualifications on their CVs.

According to Parent24, ” Beyond outright misrepresenting yourself on your CV or in a job application, even claiming, on social media, to have a qualification you haven’t actually earned can get you locked up for as long as five years.”

In other countries, there might not be such a law, but in certain professions where you need an official license to practice (such as law or medicine), you could end up getting fired and subsequently arrested if you falsely claimed to have the qualifications required for the job.

Fake qualifications on a CV could be your downfall

Even if you didn’t get caught during the hiring process, you can find yourself in a tricky position later on if you’re called upon to demonstrate certain skills or qualifications you lied about in your CV.

You never know what personal details people will remember or what they have noted down, and your false claim could have been the thing that got you hired in the first place.

For example, if you lied about doing a particular internship and/or what you learnt from it, you might be asked to teach others or utilise these skills in your current job.

Doing a bad job or admitting you don’t actually have these skills could get you fired, or at the very least, land you in your boss’s or supervisor’s bad books.

Plus, you don’t want to deal with the stress and anxiety that often comes with living a lie.

Therefore,it’s a very bad idea to lie about your skills and qualifications on your CV. It’s simply not worth the risk.

If you find yourself lacking certain skills or qualifications and you want to upskill, consider an online course like those on Coursera or Udemy so you can boost your CV in authentically.

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