Look (UK) - - FEATURE -

ork is so crazy right now, but my team are amaz­ing!’ Ah, the hum­ble brag on a Fri­day night with your pals down the pub. For­get mod­esty – it ap­pears that us Brits are go­ing above and be­yond to let peo­ple be­lieve we have glossy job ti­tles, are run­ning the whole cor­po­ra­tion or are gen­er­ally #Bossin­git. But while it may seem like every­one around you is be­ing pro­moted left, right and cen­tre, Look can re­veal that in re­al­ity things might not be quite as they seem.

A re­cent study re­veals that al­most a quar­ter of UK work­ers ad­mit to ly­ing to oth­ers about their jobs, with over 28 per cent of those be­ing be­tween 18 and 34 years old. And another sur­vey, con­ducted by Of­fice Ge­nie, found that 60 per cent of re­spon­dents said they’d be will­ing to change the ap­pear­ance of their cur­rent role if it meant bag­ging a po­si­tion they were re­ally keen on.

‘Most of the time when I speak to peo­ple I say I’m a travel writer, even though I’m a blog­ger,’ says Sarah, 26, from Belfast. ‘I never say I’m a blog­ger be­cause it’s not re­spected as much and [peo­ple] are like: “Oh, any­one can do that.” But if I say I’m a travel writer, the re­ac­tion is: “What a won­der­ful job – that’s amaz­ing!”’

Why not just tell the truth? ‘It’s a lot to do with pres­sure,’ Sarah says. ‘You’re in so much com­pe­ti­tion with your peers and you want to sell your­self. You don’t want to feel like your mates are get­ting ahead of you. You’re al­ways won­der­ing what peo­ple say about you to other peo­ple… So you want them to have the best in­for­ma­tion pos­si­ble.’

On top of peer pres­sure go­ing into over­drive, twen­tysome­things are com­pet­ing with a crop of other grads with top de­grees. What’s a per­son to do? ‘I’ve only gone and got a bloody 2:1! Well, no, I got a third… But it will say 2:1 on my CV.’ These words may have come from fic­tional char­ac­ter JP in univer­sity com­edy Fresh Meat, but it re­flects re­al­ity.

‘We vet about 120,000 CVS a year,’ re­veals Keith Rosser, head of screen­ing and com­pli­ance at re­cruit­ment web­site Reed. ‘We did some anal­y­sis and found that 24 per cent of those CVS had been fal­si­fied, whether it was job ti­tle, rea­son for leav­ing, qual­i­fi­ca­tions or pe­riod of em­ploy­ment.’

Amy, 23, from Brighton, works in beauty PR and feels it’s hard not to add ex­tra in­for­ma­tion. ‘I’ve def­i­nitely em­bel­lished stuff on my CV,’ Amy tells us. ‘I in­terned at a fash­ion magazine years ago, sort­ing out clothes that came back from shoots. On my CV I spun it as “manag­ing” a photo shoot. To get the job you want, you al­most have to say you’ve al­ready done it.’

But could these risky work fibs ac­tu­ally be hold­ing you back? Rewrit­ing the CV rules could land you in ma­jor hot wa­ter, as Leah Tot­ton, win­ner of The Ap­pren­tice in 2013, knows all too well. ‘Em­bel­lish­ing the truth is never a good idea,’ Leah tells Look. ‘The in­tense CV check and in­ter­view in the penul­ti­mate week while I was on the show has seen many can­di­dates lie, caus­ing them to fail at the fi­nal hur­dle. Hon­esty and trust is top of the list for many em­ploy­ers.’

Keith warns: ‘Peo­ple need to be more care­ful nowa­days. It’s quite com­mon to find cases where em­ploy­ers could ac­tu­ally fire you af­ter be­ing hired if they find out you lied.’ Def­i­nitely one to bear in mind!

But how can we stand out and get a ‘real’ pro­mo­tion – mi­nus the work white lies – in to­day’s ‘build your own brand’, Linkedin-cen­tric cul­ture?

Turns out that what we get up to out­side of work can ac­tu­ally help us get ahead pro­fes­sion­ally. ‘Mind­set is so

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