Corinne Mills interviewed by Richard Quest
13th May 2012
Lying on your CV
Yahoo scandal, CEO Scott Thompson quit after admitting he lied on his CV
R: So yahoo is replacing it’s chief executive for the 3rd time in many years. Scott Thompson has quit just ten days after admitting he had padded his CV, with a degree in computer sciences, journalists are reporting he had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer and this in part, had influenced his decision to step down. His resignation has defused a difficult situation with one of Yahoo’s largest investors, third point for the old hedge hunting and it has now gained the 3 seats it had been seeking. CEO executive Ross Levinsohn will be replacing him. So it is indeed a fine line between embellishment of one’s CV and outright lying. Corinne Mills knows the difference, she is the managing director of Personal Career Management, she joins me now. Corinne, what did he do that was so awful, and surely, we all do a bit of padding on our CV?
C: Well there is a difference between embellishment and factually lying which is what he has done. I think that anything which is numerical or quantitative, dates, numbers, figures, can be checked – and we live in such a digitally connected world that somebody can always check up on you so I think stupidity is probably his biggest error’.
R: You say that, but then I’m wondering, what does one do to embellish a CV? Or let me put it another way for a lot of our viewers who may have lost jobs recently, either redundancies or lay offs they don’t want to have to admit that rather unpleasant fact on a CV, how do you do it? What’s the trick?
C: There is no stigma against being made redundant. There are lots of things people might prefer to gloss over on their CV but there are loads of ways to down play it or hide it, you don’t have to lie about it. If you had a job you hated or a collection of jobs or gap in employment you can group them together, that doesn’t mean you’re lying, it just means you’re presenting it in a different way.
R: I understand lying, saying you have a first class degree when you don’t, but you must allow for a bit of sugar on the top, a little embellishment of the facts, that’ what a CV is about.
C: Look, you have to provide evidence, an employer is going to employ you because you have the relevant skills and experience for the job, but you’ve got to back it up with evidence or you’re not going to get on the shortlist
R: Do you think he should have resigned?
C: Well that’s not for me to say, but I think, you know, with these things, if they wanted him to stay, I’m sure they could of found a way to make him stay and this would have been seen as an oversight or an error,the fact that he has been allowed to resign suggests he didn’t have the power base behind him.
Learn more about how to write a successful CV