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Here are the most common lies people tell on their CVs – and the ones employers find most serious

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Emily Reynolds
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You’re a pretty employable guy, aren’t you? A solid educational background, years’ worth of great work experience and job roles, a variety of personal interests that reflect how well-balanced, responsible, but also fun a person you are. What a CV! 

Except you’re lying, aren’t you? You’re bending the truth a little to make yourself look better, at least according to a new study from YouGov, which has revealed that loads of us are lying on our CVs – and we’re all lying about the same things.

Unsurprisingly (at least to anyone who’s ever airbrushed an errant D in GCSE Physics out of their CV) our education and qualifications are the things we’re most likely to lie about, with 40% of those who have lied on their CV having twisted the truth on this topic. We also pretty frequently lie about how long we were in certain roles (35%) and how experienced we are (30%). 29% of CV-fibbers have ‘made up hobbies’, because you can’t just write ‘drinking’ there, can you?. 

But other lies were way more defensible. Though only 1% of people have lied about their names, a BBC investigation last year found that those with ‘English-sounding names’ were three times more likely to be offered a job interview as someone with a Muslim name – a fairly depressing but completely understandable reason for lying on your CV. 

And it seems that employers look more kindly on some lies than others. 

Lying about your name is the thing employers deem “most serious”; lying about your age is less of a priority. 

But there is some good news if you’re a totally boring bastard: employers don’t really care whether you lie about your interests or not. No need to delete ‘extreme sports’ or ‘leaving the house’ from the ‘personal interests’ section then. 

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Emily Reynolds

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