Lies Aren’t White Or Little In The Jobsearch

Lies Aren’t White Or Little In The Jobsearch

Little white lies don’t hurt anyone do they? Harmless exaggerations or stories intended just to gloss over right?

“I’m only 29” “Dinner will be ready in 5 minutes” and “No your bum does not look big in that” where’s the problem?

Yet lies can cause irreparable damage and never more so than in the jobsearch.

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Take the candidate who called to say they needed to rearrange their second interview as they were stuck in a horrible accident and cars were backed up for miles along a certain stretch of road. Quick check on a Traffic  App, their bluff was called and they admitted to still being at their desk waiting for another offer to come in. Needless to say the appointment was not rearranged and the other job never materialised.

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Or how about the guy who said he had been travelling abroad to explain away a career gap on his CV. However, as the organisation required security clearance and any overseas visits needed to be declared, it turned out that he hadn’t even been to the Isle of Wight let alone another country.

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Yes claiming a B instead of a C in your Classical studies exam can invalidate your offer of employment.

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It’s not what you said or did, but the fact that you lied about it in the first place.  Once trust is lost it’s very hard to regain especially during the recruitment process when we can be at our most judgemental.

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Yet it seems most of us do it:

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Hirescores.com surveyed 1,277 people in employment on whether they had lied to secure a position.
69% admitted they had told an untruth in some way. Their lies weren’t just restricted to one area. 36% said they had lied about a referee asking a member of the family or best friend. 1 in 3 of those 36% said it was because they left their previous employer on bad terms.
9 out of 10 said they had bent the truth on their CV. This ranged from 1 in 4 altering secondary education results to 50% lying about their hobbies. Half admitted they had made up a musical instrument or foreign language ability, some citing that they wanted to make themselves more interesting.

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It’s not just candidates. Recruiters also need to be aware of what impact their words have. Trying to smooth over feedback can stop a person’s success in the future if it was something they could have legitimately work on and improve.

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Even worse your encouragement could unintentionally mislead an applicant believing their chances to be much higher than they really are. This can make rejection even harder to take and have a greater impact on their emotional well being.  It doesn’t make easy reading but this article by Jane Simmonds gives a real insight into just how damaging raising someone’s hope can be.

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In the words of the x-files (I used to love that show) “The truth is out there” and when it comes to your job search don’t let it come back to haunt you.

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Photo Credit

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Sarah Cooper has over 14 years Recruitment experience gained in both an internal and agency environment. As one of the founding Directors of McGinnis Loy Ltd, specialist Finance and HR Recruiters, she is still actively recruiting in the marketplace today. Follow her tweets @approachmarket

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