So apparently, it’s an unwritten rule, a widely-known and little-discussed fact, that when it comes to job applications, every one, and I mean every one, is a big fat cheating dirty liar. Which sucks when you’re the one sucker who’s been honest this whole time. But fake it until you make it seems to be the trend. It’s all part of the competition – who can lie the most accurately, the most extravagantly and to most convincing effect? Here’s a translation of what really goes down when most people bash out that CV on Word:
The old ‘available immediately’ line
No one is available immediately. We all know the one month’s notice rule. But it just sounds so much better than ‘please wait for me for around 4 weeks while I pretend to enjoy my job’.
Oh really, you’ve carried out an extensive marketing campaign online, have you?
Meaning you tweet regularly about your breakfast, the weather, how you feel, what you want for Christmas, your fragile mood swings. Your new Facebook profile picture gets 40 likes. You’re a social media pro.
Naturally, you’re a massive team player
We’re all team players, apparently. This can cover a multitude of sins, from the cheeky hey, honey thrown at accounts babe every morning to that regretted snog with the boss at the xmas party last year. We alllll play for the team.
You have some phenomenal IT skills
This is the 21st century, EVERYONE is a dab-hand with a computer. Especially Microsoft Office hey? Except you can never get the printer to connect… or the error message to go away… and you have no idea what PNG stands for (because pointless information like that pushes something interesting out of your brain forever).
You have a First Class Honours BA degree
Or do you have a 2:1 degree in media? Hmmm let’s hope that they don’t ask for that certificate then ey…
That ‘internship’ at that ‘prestigious company’
So one of your parents owns this company and are willing to lie over the phone about it, is what you’re saying. A web of lies upon lies upon lies.
You’re an experienced fundraiser and charitable enthusiast
Equals: one time, you bought a bagel and 10p went towards Water Aid. You hero.
You’re a highly organised worker
You make it to work every morning wearing clothes and everything. Most of the time, you even remember to brush your teeth before you leave and sometimes you don’t even leave your packed lunch in the fridge.
You’re just so flexible to work unsociable hours
You are pretending that you will work weekend shifts but will fail to do so after the first month. You will blame this on your family, who need quality time with you, of course.
You’re a great communicator, huh?
You know several dirty jokes in four different languages. They always get a laugh. This makes you a hit with new people (especially when they happen to speak Spanish, French or Italian and like their scenarios filled with priests, horses and Irish men).
Your interests: travel
Sometimes, you leave London. Most of the time, you hate being away from London because you’ve been spoiled by a place that has it all. Your interest mainly lies in travelling back, but you never specified.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Progressing through the company, of course
Which translates to: oh you’ll definitely have moved on by then, this isn’t really what you want to do at all. Just a foot on the ladder really, but since one thousand others are trying to jump the wrung at the same time, you’ll do what you have to do to get ahead. These are the rules of that employment jungle – lies, deceit and lies. Damned lies.