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Stupid stupid mistake!
pekwah1 - 12/9/17 at 09:07 AM

Hi Guys,

Not sure why i'm posting on here, just really gutted and know that i've messed up royally...

Have been having some interviews for a new job which looked really good, even got an offer through which was also very good, but now has all collapsed because i'm an idiot.

Basically i list on my CV the name of the degree i studied at University, but haven't been clear on it that i didn't actually pass the course and leave with a degree. Now from my perspective, i was simply listing my education, but on reflection this is probably misleading to a prospective employer. Anyway, the biggest mistake i made is that i was asked in the interview what grade i left with, and panicked a bit and said that i couldn't actually remember (which is partially correct as i did get a certificate of some sort but don't know what it's called).
Of course what i should have done is just be totally upfront and should have said exactly that.

Anyway, interview went really well and as i said i was offered the job. I did tell them at the offer point (only a couple of days after interview) that i didn't have the degree, and they have now instantly retracted the offer, basically because i've lied on the CV and that brings into question my character and intergrity/honesty etc. Luckily i hadn't handed my notice at the current place, but have missed out on a really good opportunity.

So i know on reflection that this is my own stupid fault, just trying to come to terms at the moment, but doesn't look like this one is fixable

In conclusion, honesty is the best policy, don't make my mistake!


peter030371 - 12/9/17 at 09:23 AM

I read and review a lot of CV and if it lists a Degree I would have expected it to be a pass. I started a degree course....and left after 1 day (it wasn't for me) and I sure as hell would never even think of putting that on my CV!

Like you say you should have been clear and upfront, lesson learnt I guess

bi22le - 12/9/17 at 09:53 AM

That's a horrible feeling.

I changed jobs about 2 years ago and I hated every moment of it. I was constantly searching and interviewing for over a year until I found the right thing.

I asked for too much money or perks at times which I know lost me offers, but I would not of been happy with the job if it was any less.

For you, don't kick yourself too much. You did not loose it as they may not of selected you in the first place if you had not mentioned. Take it as experience!

I was only 2 years into a 6 year part time degree and mentioned it. I was honest on far I was through and knew that if people saw that I had drive tondo such a crazy thing them I am the right kind of person.

Chin up, it's a hard world.

nick205 - 12/9/17 at 10:11 AM

Lesson learnt I guess!

I've read CVs and employed various people on the the content and interview performance. As mentioned above I expect the CV contents to be truthful or it does indeed put the candidates honesty in question. Perhaps listing what you studied and more importantly when and why you left the course would be a better approach.

I know from experience that writing a good CV is hard work and takes time to do. I fear many people write one CV and use the exact same one for many applications. I've found some tailoring of the CV to each specific application useful - but keep a copy stored under the application for future reference.

Irony - 12/9/17 at 12:44 PM

I give a few interviews and some people do mess up. Quite funny really.

I said to one candidate 'why do you want to work at _blank_?'. 'I need the money'. 'Is there any other reason other than you need the money'. 'no'.

I said to another candidate 'Thats the end of the interview, do you have any questions'. 'When do I start?'

I was showing a perspective new carpenter around our workshop and he announced in a loud voice 'to come and work here I want 45K a year plus overtime plus a company car that is at least Land Rover Discovery'. Every carpenter in the building heard him and they don't earn anywhere near that.

Another carpenter turned up for a interview in shorts, a stained vest and flipflops. I don't mind if they come in reasonable work clothes or even straight from site. I said something like 'just come from a BBQ have you?'. He said 'no, didn't you know carpenters don't have to dress smart at interviews?'. I just said 'thats funny because its my interview and I make the rules, please go home'.

SJ - 12/9/17 at 01:33 PM

After an offer the organisation I now work for employed the Pinkerton detective Agency to check out my credentials! Always pays to tell the truth.

pekwah1 - 12/9/17 at 01:39 PM

Thanks for all the comments, full accept this is my own fault.
Interestingly i didn't think i was doing too much wrong by including on the CV but of course should have been upfront in the interview, no excuse for that really.

Oh well, a lesson learned i guess, just a very painful one....

peter030371 - 12/9/17 at 03:01 PM

The education section of a CV should be what you have achieved not what you have started

McLannahan - 12/9/17 at 03:05 PM

I don't think there's any harm in including the reference to it, but simply adding "Completed 1yr of 3yr course" or something similar?

You no doubt learnt something during that time which may well have a bearing on the job applied for.

There's always those people who spot gaps in your employment/education and ask about that too - so I don't think you were wrong to list it, but it should have been in more detail. Obviously then kind of mis-leading them that you did complete but can't remember the qualification....yikes!

Anyway - Best to move forwards and if you're still wanting a new challenge chalk it down to a bad experience and move on!

I'm still waiting for the update of Mr Whippy and his "not a good day" moment!

Best foot forwards Andy!

nick205 - 12/9/17 at 03:19 PM


I'd like to hear the end of the Mr Whippy tale too.

It made me chuckle at the time, but I'd not want to find myself in that situation.

ttalps2000 - 12/9/17 at 03:47 PM

At my previous company a new employee had started and claimed he had several degress and the grades listed on his CV.

They took him on and they checked after.

Was all lies and he had no degree at all. He was marched out the door that day!

swanny - 12/9/17 at 04:10 PM

in future i'd mention it but use it as an opportunity to say something positive about yourself that they will want to hear. " i left after a year as it wasnt suited to my career aspirations and instead did....."

coozer - 12/9/17 at 04:51 PM

I went for interview at a Nissan supplier...

All going well until I blurted out 'well they only car's' the ensuing silence ensured me I wasn't going to get he job😁😁😁

Nearly bust out laughing as I walked out the door!

MikeR - 12/9/17 at 09:58 PM

Interviewed someone who had a gap on his cv. When asked about it they refused to discuss it. Luckily I'd googled them prior to the interview and knew they'd been in prison for misuse of computer equipment. Our systems held patient information. No honesty in the interview = no chance of a job.

Another bloke went on a racist rant about Indians. 5 minutes later my delayed Indian colleague walked in to conduct the technical questions. That was interesting Too honest in the interview in that case = no job. (It was fun explaining to my colleague why we weren't hitting him / I'd cut the interview short as he was technically the best candidate we'd Had in a while.)

SJ - 13/9/17 at 07:25 AM


Why we weren't hitting him

I assume thats a typo, though getting your colleague to give him a slap might have done the guy some good!

WallerZero - 13/9/17 at 09:01 AM

Don't talk to me about typos! I've just found out I've been applying to roles with my current job as starting Sept 2017!

Thankfully a recruitment agent spotted it and let me correct it before he sent my details on!

motorcycle_mayhem - 13/9/17 at 09:25 AM

No, it wasn't too stupid. To have played the graduate role into the actual offer, and then to subsequently begin the employment under a contract, that would have been far, far worse.
At the worst, the employer is now out on FTE, and cost, of progressing with you as far as they did. You admitted the 'omission', before things got deeper, other candidates had the 'unfortunately your skillset doesn't exactly match....' letter.

As an interviewer, omitting the grade is an invitation for an obvious question. Another I would have asked is what did you do during the other 2 years (if it isn't obvious).

I interview in the science area, so education is important, as is the candidate's work/research career, which these days is quite easy to track. Some folk have a considerable alternative electronic footprint to follow, some of that isn't too eerrr... sensible.

Mr Whippy - 13/9/17 at 11:53 AM

I did employ a "brazing expert" who turned out to not know how to light an oxy torch and seemed quite scared of it

I also look through CV's and do the odd interview, I just want them straight to the point. What's the best grades you got and what's the closest thing you've done that matches what I'm after. Can't be bothered wading through loads of dross.

I always tailor my CV to a job I'm applying for, list everything that matches at the top.

Toys2 - 13/9/17 at 02:25 PM

I was amazed just how poorly present cv's and letters were (in the days of postal applications) . You could almost reject half of them without needing to read them

Do I win a prize for my own interview cock up........
I was going for a job at a small family run business and managed to turn up a whole day early! I'd simply misread the letter.
I went back the next day and got the job. They later said that having the nutsack to go back and make a joke of it made me stand out from the other candidates

[Edited on 13/9/17 by Toys2]