Tag Archives: Resume Writing

Lying on Resumes – News.com.au Story



EARLIER this year, Veronica Theriault made headlines by pleading guilty to fraud after scoring a job by listing fake credentials on her resume.

Ms Theriault, a former chief information officer with the Department of Premier and Cabinet in Adelaide, claimed to have “20 years of experience” working at several big tech firms, including accommodation-booking site Wotif.

But it was all an elaborate lie, with the company confirming to the ABC she had never worked there.

It’s not the only case of a high-flyer fudging their resume though — former Myer executive Andrew Flanagan famously falsified his CV to land his $400,000 gig as the group’s general manager for strategic and business development.

And Western Australia’s Local Government (Administration) Regulations have given councils the authority to impose a $5000 fine on applicants for CEO positions who provide “false or misleading information” about their qualifications in the application process — an indication lying on resumes was a common practice.

“That’s a screaming indicator a lot of senior people are doing it,” former recruiter and professional resume writer and career coach Patrick Harnett told news.com.au.

He said up to 80 per cent of resumes he sees contain at least small untruths.

He said common job application lies ranged from the small end of the scale, such as applicants exaggerating their current income during the interview stage, to the extreme, with some actually doctoring university degrees using photoshop to claim qualifications they don’t have.

But he said employers were starting to crack down on false information in the job application process, with some requesting a pay slip as proof of an applicant’s salary.

The average employer is also now likely to do a quick social media check of an applicant’s LinkedIn and Facebook accounts, as well as Googling their name.

“At the interview stage employers usually ask how much money the person is on and people tend to add an extra $10,000 or more to their annual salary — but nowadays a lot of companies are asking for pay slips to prove it and if you refuse, they might think something’s not quite right,” Mr Harnett said.

“And because there’s a lot of doctoring going on these days, some employers are asking for permission to contact a university directly to confirm an applicant completed a course.”

Many companies also carry out police and bankruptcy checks, while others hire specialist companies to do background searches on their behalf, he said.

“Be extremely careful about what information you put on your resume because you can’t get away with saying something is a typo,” he said.

“Work is stressful enough; you don’t want to be in a position where you’re worried every day and looking over your shoulder waiting to be caught.”

Mr Harnett said one of the most common CV lies was covering up employment gaps used for things like travel or raising a family.

“It’s a big no-no to say you were employed when you haven’t been and even though it’s an out and out lie, a lot of people feel pretty OK to do it,” he said.

“But at the end of the day, if you have a blatant lie on your resume and you get hired then found out, the trust is broken.

“There’s an old-fashioned saying that everyone lies on their resume but you should try to be as open and honest as possible and show as much integrity as you can, and if there’s a gap in your resume, be honest about it.”

It was becoming more acceptable for people to take long career breaks for travel, he said, and it could even be seen as a positive by a potential employer — as it may mean the applicant has got their wanderlust out of their system.

Mr Harnett said other regular furphies are exaggerating seniority, claiming to have been responsible for a larger team and getting a friend to pose as a professional referee.

© Alexis Carey

Source – news.com.au

5 Secrets Recruiters Only Know

Disclaimer: The below article is from my experiences and I am not stating that all Recruiters and Agencies operate in this fashion but there is a substantial amount of the below happening in the job market. This is not a recruitment bashing post but one to educate and prepare job seekers for their future encounters.

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1.    Fake Job Postings

Have you ever seen job descriptions from Recruiters which seem very vague, look familiar and provide no real insight into who the employer maybe etc.? Well chances are, these are not “real” job postings. Why do they post them might be the next question which springs to your mind. It’s quite simple – they want your resumes on file so that if / when a similar job does come up, they can immediately contact you to see if you would like to apply. It is all about building a large candidate database so jobs can be easily serviced as they come in.

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2.    Asking For The Name Of Your Boss

Again, this is a database building exercise. Knowing who your boss is can be vital to landing some work from a company. Can you remember during an interview with a Recruiter where they casually ask your boss’s name or state the wrong name only for you to correct them with the right one? The chances are that your boss is in a hiring manager position so having his details recorded and been able to forge a relationship could be quite useful to the Recruiter. If you end up leaving the business you are working for, who do you think will now offer your boss their services right in the nick of time to fill the gap you have left? You got it – the Recruiter who interviewed you!

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3.    Referees On Your Resume

Are you a manager? Ever wonder how Recruiters get your number? You got it – referees on resumes. This is a very easy and useful way for a Recruiter to build their knowledge on who’s who in the market. When I am writing resumes for my clients, I advise to omit referees from your resume unless applying for a position that requests them in the job advertisement.

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4.    KPIs, KPIs and More KPIs

Recruiters work off KPIs. There may be other naming conventions but Key Performance Indicators are vital to larger organisations in tracking how effective and hard a Recruiter is working. Some of these could be candidate calls, client calls, client meetings and candidate interviews per week. As shocking as this may sound, some candidates are sometimes only interviewed to tick off KPIs and prevent the management team from breathing down the Recruiter’s neck. It is a cutthroat industry in Recruitment so if you are not making the company money, your KPIs will be under scrutiny to ensure you are very much trying to.

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5.    Why You Don’t Hear Back

To put it simply, being a Recruiter is a very busy and challenging position to hold. From interviewing candidates, to making client calls, attending various meetings and trying to tee up interviews to suit both candidates and clients – there is never a dull moment. With this in mind, Recruiters need to be ruthless with their time. If you do not fit in with their pipeline of jobs and are no use to them, you probably won’t hear from them. Don’t take it too personally – it’s just the nature of the game. It would be a job in itself to follow up with every candidate across every occasion. In saying this, any good Recruiter should manage the relationship with a candidate as best they can and with integrity. I can fully understand the frustration caused when a candidate takes the time to apply or interview for a position and then does not receive any feedback. You can see some other reasons why Recruiters may not contact you on another article I created here.

I do hope that this has shed some light on what is happening in the job market and that you have a better understanding on how some Recruiters operate. Selling people to people is not easy and these guys have a tough job especially when the job market is bad. There are good and bad ones out there – best to find a good one and work closely with them as they can definitely assist in landing you a position. They may well develop some leads from you but that is the nature of the sales industry so don’t be too put off.

Feel free to check out some of my other blog articles here on resume writing, cover letter creation, job search guidance, LinkedIn coaching and much more.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and good luck!

Best regards,

Patrick Harnett

Professional Resume Writer Perth


5 Items to Remove From Your CV Now

After having been heavily involved in resume writing in Perth for a long period of time, I have found these to be some of the most common mistakes on resumes today!

1. Date of Birth

Many people think that you must include your date of birth on your resume. You do not. Including this information allows the recruiter / potential employer be ageist. What if a hiring manager says to his HR contact that he wants someone between the age of 25-35 with X, Y and Z skills? You confidently apply knowing you have more than X, Y and Z skills but also mention your date of birth which indicates you are 37. Guess what, your application could most likely go into the no bundle! I have seen this happen. So, leave your date of birth off your resume and allow yourself be judged on your skills and not a date.

2. Personal Photograph

There are 2 main reasons I advise my clients not to include a personal photograph on a resume. Firstly, the viewer may simply not like the look of you! Some people find this hard to believe but in today’s world, people are judged on how they look. It is very subjective from person to person so do yourself a favour and leave your picture off. Another reason is that including this image on your file can cause issues with resume scanning software and prevent your applications from progressing for review. Of course, there are some exceptions to this point for positions where you are asked to provide a photo for events personnel, modelling, acting etc.

3. Red Font

I come across this time and time again as people think black text and red headers look good. When people see the colour red, they can subconsciously think stop or no which are negative connotations. We do not want people to think like this (even subconsciously) when reading your resume.

4. Referees

Leave these off your resume unless requested to include on the job application. These just take up space on your resume you could be using for selling your skills and listing your achievements. It also gives you more control over the process of referee checking as you can pick and choose what referees to provide at the relevant time along with giving your referees the heads up to expect a call.

5. Irrelevant Information

This is quite a broad point but get rid of anything on your resume which is not relevant or will not assist you in landing the job you are chasing. For example, I would not recommend including you like reading books or going to the cinema on your resume. Hiring managers are more concerned if you have the skills for the job. Also, do not list various half day internal team training courses from 14 years ago as they will not hold much, if any weight on your application and will just clog up your resume.


In conclusion, I do hope the above post has helped. I see these things everyday so please check your resume to make sure you are up to date. For more posts form me, check my LinkedIn page, my website blog page here and if you think this will assist any of your friends, colleagues or general network, please do share!

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Any questions, just drop me a mail.

All the best and good luck!

Patrick Harnett

Professional Resume Writing Perth