Blagging your way into a job - how far some people go

Everyone exaggerates their qualifications on CVs or in interviews but some candidates go too far

Saying you graduated from MIT when you didn’t; giving a false name and refusing to clarify it only to be escorted from the building; getting your qualified sister to do an interview for you - as a nurse - and taking the job despite never having trained as one.

Yes, everyone tends to embellish and enhance their CVs by over-stating their length of experience or seniority of the roles may have held. Indeed the latest Employment Market Monitor from CPl reveals that 65 per cent of employers have received falsified CVs. However, some people take it that little bit too far.

Peter Cosgrove, a director with Cpl says: "Some candidates do not understand that lying about their skills and experience is not a good idea. Landing a job you cannot do results in a highly stressful situation which will only end badly."

This is advice that a woman, who got her sister to interview for her for a nursing job, should have taken. She got the job, and despite the fact that she was unqualified, it wasn’t possible to prove that a different person took the job to the one who had done the interview. So the business had to stick with the unqualified nurse until she was called home after social services had found her children at home, unsupervised. The employer was not sad to see her go.


Another candidate claimed to have a degree from MIT without realising that the chief executive interviewing him had attended MIT and knew the candidate was lying, while a break in one candidate’s CV to “return to the home country” turned out to be an eight-month spell in prison for fraud.

One candidate referred to in the CPL survey had a glowing reference from her former employer - but disguised that the referee was her husband by using her maiden name. Yet another advised that he had given a false name on his CV but then refused to give his real name. He was escorted from the building.

“People who genuinely want a job they have no experience in should consider upskilling or retraining. Job activation schemes - such as the Government initiative, Momentum - offer valuable work placements, offering the much needed work experience a candidate may need,” advises Cosgrove.

The survey also found that 40 per cent of employers said that women generally accept less remuneration than men for equal roles, particularly in the tech sector, while the monitor points to a strong first quarter for job listings, with the level of jobs posted in the science, engineering & supply chain segment showing the strongest growth since early 2013.

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan is a writer specialising in personal finance and is the Home & Design Editor of The Irish Times