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This is a question Lies I told on my CV

I've not had to lie on my CV (resumé for all you 'merkins) for a while, but way back when I was a teenager and C was a cool programming language, I listed it as one of my skills.

My new boss was remarkably nice about me spending my first week's employment reading a "how to program in C" book.

(, Thu 6 Jul 2006, 15:55)
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I've had a checkered life
But my cv contains no lies - I have though had I think 21 jobs since I left school at 16, and I am only 37 which is not too bad - thankfully commitment has never been a problem with prospective employers - after all you can always tell them it was a contract.

I've been in IT since 1987, with a couple of moments away, including being a cabinet maker for Trace Elliot (they make bass amps for the rich and famous), A musician in the BRitish Army and a photographer to some famous rock bands (which have got me interviews just because people want to know what Alice Cooper is really like - How would I know from shooting thre songs from the photographers pit?). But I can list people like the European Space Agency, Coca Cola and Nike amongst my previous employers, so that carries some weight.

I'm not here to boast of my lies, but to maybe offer some advice - when I was out of IT I got back in by being a recruitment consultant and learned about how or how not to write a CV, so if I can help those out there searching, I'll sleep better.

1. Never short sell yourself - be proud of what you have done, no matter how insignificant it may seem - authority, responibility and accountability are things any employers love to see - even if it is when you are trying to get on the career ladder and have worked only part time at threshers.

2. Relevance - there is the rule of 5 - if you think you are not good enough for a job because although you can program in C, have a degree in microbiology, speak fluent swahili and can ride a unicycle but don't have experience of cooking mufffins that's fine - most job specs want the perfect candidate and of they list the above or similar most ridiculous things, mention in the cover letter that I can a), I can b) I can c) and I can d) (maybe dropping examples of each) but then write I am lacking in knowledge of e) but I am willing to learn - that will get you oin for interview - normally by the third yes difficult employers will be overawed you have 60% of the requirement.

3. A willingness to learn is often far more important than a lack of experience - just back it up with examples

4. Pride - if you have done something, something you may think is irrelevant but you talk with pride about it on your cv or in an interview, the passion will win you points.

5. Lying - DON'T. If you are a year off a degree be honest, but back it up by what you have done that is relevant - Liers get caught out and believe me there are networks and forums that will name abnd shame you.

6. Be yourself! Don't worry about going into and interview and not getting the job - there are plenty more out there that are better, and believe me what may look like the perfect job can actually turn out to be pure hell (I'm there right now - but I am getting out of it on my terms)

7. Hobbies and interests - true stories - I used to list Playing the guitar, travel and photography as my hobbies - one interview I was asked if I really went out on a Friday night and travelled afar to take pictures of my guitar - my response? "No Dave Mate, I go out and get wankered with my mates"- I got the job on the spot (and at a city company in the IT sector attached to the insurance industry) - this is a rare example but sometimes putting something as broad as "socialising" on your CV will get you a lot further than pretending you enjoy knitting - remember the people accross the desk may enjoy a pint as well - it also shows that you do not have problems with mixing with people and communicatinm, if even after a pint.

Well I am sure that is more, but for you young'uns I hope that helps - good luck in whatever you chose to do with your life - I hope it takes you to half the places I have been or am going and you always have a couple of quid on your pocket for a kebab and a beer because of it!
(, Thu 6 Jul 2006, 22:19, Reply)

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