How accurate are the CV’s that you receive from candidates in the hospitality industry? Can you ever trust the information you get? I would hazard a guess that a lot of the CV’s you receive contain anything from simple omissions of information to far-fetched fairy tales.

I am not for a moment suggesting that most people applying for jobs are inherently dishonest, but it is prudent to carefully check the accuracy of all information on CV’s. And you do not need to be Sherlock Holmes or Detective Piet Byleyveld to decipher the clues.

There are plenty of surveys doing the rounds, suggesting that one in four CV’s are not to be believed. So it is true to say you cannot believe everything you read.

There was a recent case in the UK of a chef who applied for a position, claiming that he had worked for the renowned Chef Gordon Ramsey at one of his restaurants. A simple reference check from a recruitment agency showed that this person had never worked in the establishment he claimed and Chef Ramsey had never met him. The three years that the applicant claimed he had worked at the restaurant was nothing but a lie, in fact a proper Porkie. As you can imagine Ramsey uttered a few expletives and demanded a public apology from the applicant.

I have seen many CV’s that have been pure fantasy. Information is omitted from CV’s on a regular basis. Such as, a previous employer where perhaps things did not go smoothly. It is also very common for a candidate to mention on a CV that they studied a degree or diploma and neglect to point out that the course of study was not completed or the final exams were actually failed. A lot of this information can be qualified during the interview process by asking questions regarding education establishments and dates.

I am always impressed by honesty. I do get candidates who “Man up” to their mistakes. We all make them so why be so eager to illustrate a perfect career on paper?  I would go as far to say that employers like people who have “Screwed up” occasionally. As lessons are learned from previous mistakes, a savvy employer could think that this would lessen the future risk in his business.

I have also given up reading written references. No-one will ever attach a bad reference and it is unlikely that an employer will ever put anything derogatory on paper. You may as well throw them in the bin with the outdated health and safety, first aid and grade two swimming certificates that are attached.

So the order of the day is to ask questions, check references and investigate anything that looks or sounds suspicious. Some candidates will twist the truth a little and one or two should win literary awards for fiction