Our CVs are sales documents, so we want to see ourselves in a positive light, but there is a line between emphasising the positive and lying.  

There’s been quite a bit in the press this week about Claire Verity, a TV “baby guru” who has very strong views of how babies should be brought up with tough techniques including leaving a baby to cry.  

Her CV includes a number of qualifications but these appear to be inaccurate with the awarding bodies denying that she has these qualifications. She has stated on her web site that she has awards from Maternity Nurse Training in Care of Nultiple Babies, Sleep Training, Emergency Paedriatic First Aid and in Breast Feeding and Maternity Nurse Training but this organisation has no record of these qualifications.  She also claims to be a midwifery nurse and she is not a qualified nurse. There’s no mention of this on her website, but the information was supplied to Channel 4, who I broadcasting the series “Bringing up baby”. 

This reminds me of Gillian Keith – “the food doctor” known for looking at peoples poo and being rude. She has had to drop the Dr from her name as she is not a qualified doctor and bought the qualification. 

Maybe neither thought they would get found out, and if they had kept off TB they might not have been but people do check people out. 

So back to our CVs. We could say we had qualifications we don’t have but at some point we could get found out and then we’d be sacked.  We could say we had worked for a company in a more senior role, and in a job we didn’t even do, but what happens when HR follows up for references? 

We also need to think about what to say on our CV and at interview if we have been sacked. We often don’t want to tell the truth, and instead talk about leaving for personal reasons, being let go etc.  However it can be helpful to yourself to be truthful. As we get older we have work experiences that don’t go well and it can be a real bonus to the way that we present ourselves if we are truthful. Explain what happened, what you learnt and how this will affect the way you work in the future. This is emphasised in a podcast by Jack and Suzy Welch.


Published On: October 31st, 2007 / Categories: Job Search /

One Comment

  1. Just had an email from a client who said “so true about fibbing on your CV. I think that’s why I sometimes undersell myself as I’d hate to say I’m good at something and then find out there’s someone better or you actually can’t do it when you said you could, how silly!! Never lie, always bites you in the bottom, just do what you can and be willing to learn more”.
    She has a point but I think she is being a bit harsh, so i’ve emailed her back and said
    “With your CV, of course we don’t lie but we do need to sell ourselves in the best light. I think it’s a bit like when we want a nice photo – we do our hair, put on some makeup and choose the most flattering photo. So with our CV we do need to be postive about what we have done.”

Leave A Comment

Subscribe to receive Career Wisdom

Get the 10 Steps to a Job you Love eProgramme too, downloaded over 3000 times