Fantastic CV or Fraud?
January to March is the traditional peak time to look for a new job. That means you may soon be looking to recruit. Should you believe everything you read in a CV?
The CV is a Sales Document
A CV tells you what the candidate wants you to know. It doesn’t tell you what they would rather you did not find out. Pro-active candidates will tailor their CV to your job. Studies have consistently shown that around 60% of people exaggerate or even lie on their CVs.
David Scott joined Mech-Tool as Managing Director, earning more than £120,000 per annum. The Company is a leading heat and blast protection company in the oil and gas sector. His CV claimed he had three degrees, to have written a renowned academic paper and described him as a “seasoned executive”. In reality, he didn’t have a degree, the paper was written by an American Professor with the same name and he had never held an executive role before.
Mech-Tool recruited David Scott to oversee two new multi-million pound contracts in Kazakhstan. It soon became clear he was not up to the job and the Company started digging into his CV. As a result, David Scott has just been convicted of fraud and jailed for 12 months.
What to look out for on a CV
When every CV in front of you looks great, what are the warning signs you should be looking out for?
- Lots of short-term jobs
- Gaps in employment
- Odd jumps in job title
- Things that sound too good to be true
- Vague details – improved customer service – what does that mean?
- Vague dates – 2014-2015 could mean two years or two months.
- Check on line reviews for their current employer. Are there any clues there?
If you want to know more, speak briefly to the candidate first on the phone. If they will be talking to your customers, it’s a great way to test their telephone manner. If you decide to interview, be sure to drill down into anything you are not sure of.
How to Manage CVs
You may have lots of CVs land in your inbox but do what you need to do to keep on top of them. After all, these candidates have put time and effort into contacting you.
Always let candidates know if they have been unsuccessful. Not only is this common courtesy but in these days of social media, how they are treated can soon get around to the very candidates you want to recruit.
If you are employing directly, send your candidates confirmation of the interview date, time, location and interviewer’s name. Tell the receptionist that they are coming so they feel welcome when they arrive. If this proves to be your ideal candidate, you want them to believe you are going to be a good and thoughtful employer.