Demand for junior bankers in Asia leads to exaggerated CVs

By Nick Lambe – Managing Director, Links International

I was recently quoted in an article on eFinancial Careers about how junior bankers can be seen to embellish their experience in their CVsas a result of a high demand to fill junior finance roles in both Singapore and Hong Kong.

If you read Eric’s article last week entitled “Never Lie in Your Job Application” you’ll know why this is a bad idea: at some stage or another you will get caught and this could have seriously bad repercussions for your career.

The issue with candidates exaggerating their skills and experience has become so much of a problem that Simon Mortlock from eFinancial Careers spoke to a number of recruiters, including me, about their views on the subject.

At Links, we have seen people embellish their experience around leading projects or responsibilities to which they were assigned at the junior end of the market. For example, a candidate might have been on an audit and might have implied that they were solely responsible for the sign off of that audit, when in fact there was a high degree of supervision.

The issue also has a lot to do with candidates filling their CVs with fabricated experiences and achievements just for the sake of it, in order to make their CVs look longer. Ultimately, lengthy CVs will not attract the attention of either the person who initially reads it, or the hiring manager responsible for filling the role. It is critical that the experience and achievements stand out and differentiate the individual from the crowd, yet exaggerated CVs will be found out either at interview stage, or at the stage when background checks are carried out, or even when an offer is being made. So, to avoid embarrassment, CVs should always be factual and 100% honest.

The key things that candidates should focus on when writing their CVs are their achievements, i.e. what projects they have worked on and what they learnt from these experiences that they can bring to future employers. I would always suggest using bullet points in the description of previous roles and highlighting key achievements of each notable project that are relevant to the role they are applying for in an individual section of “Key Achievements”.

Links International specialises in recruiting the best talent across a range of functions in Asia. To speak to one of our team about how we can help to take your career to the next level, please contact us now.