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Can candidates stretch the truth on their CV?
Many recruiters understand that candidates stretch the truth a little bit on their CVs. According to a study by Page Personnel 44% of recruitment consultants accept it as a fact of life, making Belgium the most ´liberal´ country in Europe in this regard. The country with the lowest tolerance for bending the truth is Italy: only 7% of Italian recruiters accept that candidates are ´creative´ with the truth.
“Of course people should be honest on their resume,” says Olivier Dufour, Executive Director of Page Personnel Belgium. “I would highly discourage telling lies on your CV, even small ones. It´s not a good start for a conversation, but I do understand why many consultants are forgiving in that respect. They accept it as a fact of life and look at the bigger picture: a good candidate will prove him or herself during the interview regardless. And if a candidate doesn´t have the right skills that will show up during the process as well.”
What´s important on your CV
For the study ‘What´s important on your CV?’, Page Personnel interviewed 4,245 job candidates and 619 recruitment consultants across Europe. In Belgium 41 recruitment consultants and 192 candidates participated in the study. Click on the image below to find out what is really important on your CV.
The employment gap
According to the study, 92% of recruiters said that having a gap on your CV that is longer than six months doesn´t hurt your chances. “As long as you can explain the gap it shouldn’t be a problem,” explains Olivier Dufour. “Nowadays it’s quite common for employees to take sabbatical leave, to travel or to study for example. Those are also valuable experiences.”
Working abroad overrated
The most overrated part of the CV according to recruiters is having work experience abroad. Almost half of all candidates think it´s important, but recruiters disagree: 76% say it doesn’t make you stand out. “It´s much more valuable to be bilingual in French and Dutch than to have international experience, because what employers want to see are skill sets, not travel experience,” says Olivier Dufour.
How personal is too personal?
What does make a difference, on the other hand, is personalising your CV by including your personal motivation: almost 90% of recruiters agree this is important. “Although it is tricky; you need to find the right balance,” explains Olivier Dufour. “There is always the danger that it contains too much blah-blah. I would advise people to keep it simple and try to include useful information, such as availability, mobility and salary expectations.”
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