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Careers expert & author shares why you can't get away with white lies on your CV

Why you can't get away with little white lies on

your CV anymore!


Author and careers/careers advice expert, Edd Williams, shares his extensive experience of working on more than 100,000 CVs over the past decade, in light of the recent survey results showing three in five employers have rejected a candidate for lying on their CV.


Edd Williams is author of Is Your School Lying To You? Published by Ortus Press on 31stJanuary 2018. Copies are available for journalists to review/consider. Edd is available for interview, editorial commissions and comment.


"When I first started out in recruitment about a decade and a half ago it was a different time, I don't say that as some sort of happy recollection of a halcyon era, quite the opposite in fact, it was time and labour intensive just to get a CV on to your desk. Cold calling, large newspaper adverts, days of interviewing in travel hotel lobbies. Things we take for granted nowadays simply didn't exist then, the internet was by no means as ubiquitous as it is now and if you wanted a CV you'd often have to wait 3-5 days for someone to post it through and then the same again to get them over to a client. LinkedIn didn't exist so fact-checking and referencing was harder and consequently people could get away with lying on their CVs or at least 'embellishing'.


Fast forward to today and that is no longer the case, when once the received wisdom seemed to be to lie within your capabilities, now I would advise scrupulous honesty as the best and only chance of success. The first thing I, and many employers I work with do, is check someone's social media footprint. You look for inconsistencies from their LinkedIn profile to their CV. Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter all offer insights on how they present themselves to the world and what they really feel about certain issues. When once a candidate was able to handpick those that would speak up for them as a referee, now all an employer needs to do is approach a shared connection on LinkedIn and ask a few questions regarding what X person did or check out their drunken rants on their Twitter feed.


The law is very clear regarding official reference-giving but you can't stop the inevitable democratisation of the process and peer-to-peer recommendations are now often the quickest and easiest route for an employer to sanity-check a prospective candidate. Even the smallest white lies can blow up in your face because of this, so don't lay claim to languages you can't speak, state hobbies you don't enjoy or manage people that you don't (the most common one by far). Recruiting anyone is all about credibility and gravitas, if you can't trust a candidate to level with you at the beginning of a relationship then everything that follows is tarnished - from their engagement in the process, their motivations for moving (will they accept a buy-back) and ultimately how they will perform in front of stakeholders once in post. It's too big a risk for the employer and fundamentally for the candidate if they are serious about the role."




Is Your School Lying To You? By Edd Williams, Ortus Press, 31stJanuary 2018, £11.99


For 14 years, Edd Williams has helped people get jobs. He's worked with global corporations and tiny SMEs, he has spoken to CEOs and graduate trainees. He has found engineers in South Korea and nuclear scientists who speak French to work in Norway on contracts. He's spoken to literally thousands of people to understand what they are looking for in a job or what they are looking for in an employee. He's coached them through interviews, to actively listen, to mirror body language, to ask the right questions, to be confident but not arrogant, the right way to shake hands, how to close the deal. Edd has studied, edited and written over 100,000 CVs: 25-30 CVs a day, 260 days a year for over 14 years stacks up. So, when a teacher who's moved directly from university into teaching tells students how to write their CV or what an employer is looking for it makes him kind of angry. At best, it's irresponsible at worst it's negligent. Edd is a parent, a school governor, a recruitment consultant and an academic consultant. He's got three little people at home and when he's not working to try and secure a comfortable present for them he's worrying about their futures. The more Edd worried, the more he looked into the schooling they'd receive, and the more worried he became. Working for many years in recruitment, he knows what the job market demands, what employers look for and he now knows, through the statistics, anecdotal evidence and first-hand experience, that schools up and down the country just don't get it. The work he does with students and employers has further convinced him that too many schools are lying to their students about what they should be doing to get the kind of careers and consequently the kind of lives they want. He's trying to change all of this through his book -Is Your School Lying To You?- and his work at Duart Consultants.


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