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Honesty throughout job seeking process

C has technical sales experience of 10+ years. He aspires to do hands-on sales and brings in sales figures/numbers for the companies he works for. He is very eloquent and well presented. He has won sizable projects for his employers. He progressed to manage regional sales, with 50% of his time away from family.

The demands changed C’s life perspectives and he worked in junior sales roles to spend time with his family. In his resume, he indicated that his highest qualification is a diploma.

During a recent interview he attended, he impressed the interviewers with his credentials. He was asked twice if he planned to pursue a degree within 5 years. He answered 'yes', twice.

An official offer came the next day and the salary was pegged to the scope. Anyone would expect a good match and happy closure. However,…..

C requested to talk with me as I was his Recruiter. Only then did he disclose that he has a Master’s Degree. He progressed from a diploma to his Master’s without a Bachelor’s. He has chosen to remove this ‘highest’ qualification from his CV as he wanted to do hands-on sales which higher roles would not give him the ‘fulfillment’. He has applied for similar roles but was not shortlisted as he was overqualified with his Master's.

I notified the hiring company about this new information as this had become complicated. In the end, they withdrew the offer.

They could accept that he ‘down-washed’ his CV but were upset that he was not being truthful when being asked about his plan to study during the interview.

If he has chosen to be honest from the start, I could have conveyed his career plan to the employer and helped him secure the role which he desired. It was too late!

Lessons learned:

1. Always be truthful about your CV. If you are unsure, please discuss with your recruitment consultant (if applicable).

2. Be open with your Recruiter. Share your concerns or inhibitions. He/she is there to help you.

3. If you need advice before the interviews, or on the role, job scope, salary range, etc, please reach out to your recruitment consultant. They will be in a better position to provide insights. This will help you with better decisions.

4. Share and answer honestly, and with confidence during interviews. It is not worth being caught in any situation.


Honesty is always the best throughout job-seeking process.


Questions to the LI community :

i) For job seekers: do you agree with C’s behavior – down washing his CV and/or not telling openly when being asked?

ii) For employers: would you continue with the offer or withdraw if you were the hiring manager?

iii ) For Recruiters: Are we able to avoid such situations when job seekers under our care are not upfront?

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