Contractors' Questions: Should I admit to CV lies?

Contractor's Question: I embellished my CV for a recent role but am afraid the part I improved might be seen as an outright lie because it's a bit of a bold claim and is hard to substantiate. The problem is that my CV is now with the agent. Could recalling the CV, or pointing out the half-truth to my agent, be more damaging than keeping quiet?

Expert's Answer: My advice is to tell the truth. Client don't care about qualifications if the experience is there. They want to know that the person can do the job and has integrity. Gaps are even less significant if they can be evidenced properly. They only become an issue, when clients think that there is something to hide, such as imprisonment in the UK or abroad, and drug or alcohol problems.

The expert was Alexandra Kelly, managing director of Powerchex , a pre-employment screening firm .

Expert's Answer: In this scenario, you should speak up and the agent should be humble and tell the client they have failed on qualifying you as a suitable candidate. The best way for agencies to avoid this sticky situation is for them to require a reference from the contractor before any interview is conducted. This way, the agency doesn't damage their image, or the contractor's, in the eyes of the client. If the reference is bad, the agent will invariably just tell your client that you are not professional or suited for the role.

The expert was Estevao Pape, a manager at Xtra-IT , an IT recruitment agency.

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