We know so many people lie on their CVs. It’s a normal thing at this point. It’s all seen as part of the employment hustle. So, we spoke to seven Nigerians, and they told us the biggest lies they’ve told on their CVs.
“I said I’d worked with over 10 organisations”
“I lied that I’d worked in over 10 organisations over a span of three years. It’s not my fault. I was desperately looking for a job, so I just manufactured companies and put them on my CV. Out of all of them, I’d only worked with two in real life. The rest were imaginary companies with no other employees except me.”
“I lied that I can work under pressure”
“When I was writing a CV for my last job, I was honestly just freestyling with my soft skills. I kept adding anything that came to my mind because I thought, last last, I’ll run it. That’s how I went to mention I can work under pressure. I think God punished me for lying by making me get the job because the pressure I faced can make some people cry.”
“I lied that I organised a virtual conference of over 1000 attendees”
“I once put it on my CV that I had some event planning experience with a virtual conference that had over 1000 attendees. Both the conference and the attendees were made up. But nobody should stress me, please.”
“I said I helped two organisations increase their social media visibility by 3x”
“I don’t even know if I’ll call this a lie. I did work for those organisations as a social media manager sha, but I didn’t increase any visibility anywhere o. Moving your page from 10 followers to 30 followers is still 3x visibility, no? But then, I like to think of it like this: three times zero is still zero. So, technically, I didn’t lie. I just massaged the truth a little bit.”
“I wrote an entire role description for a job I didn’t even do”
“When I was in university, I worked at a company owned by a relative for my SIWES programme. To be honest to God in heaven, I wasn’t doing anything meaningful there. I was just going to watch Big Brother Naija everyday. But when I updated my CV, I just added everything that was in the role description, whether or not I did them in real life.
I said I onboarded new clients, held sessions with new employees, received inbound calls, yada yada yada. Everything, dust.”
“I said I was proficient in SQL”
“I was actively looking for a data analyst position at the time, and I just added any skill remotely related to the job. Whether or not I even knew the first thing about them was none of my business. I kept saying I’ll learn on the job when I find it. And I knew enough about some of these skills to sound like I was actually proficient in real life sha.
When I got the job, it became a race between my workload and my brain. Every night, I was sleeping on YouTube trying to figure stuff out. I learnt in the end sha, and actually became proficient. But I don’t think it was worth the stress of lying.”
“I created my own company to make it seem like I wasn’t freelancing”
“I’m a software engineer, and even though I have a bit of formal work experience, I’d done some freelance work for over a year. The issue is companies abroad didn’t really like hiring freelancers. Maybe it has to do with the assumption that you’ll keep doing gigs while working for them.
I was looking for a remote job at the time, so to cover up the freelancing part, I just created a company and said it was an agency so we worked on different projects. The projects were real, but the ‘company’ really only existed to disguise the fact that I was freelancing.
I’m applying for another remote job now, and I mistakenly sent in an old CV that says I’ve freelanced before. I’m just waiting for my L, secretly hoping that it never comes.”