7 questions on CVs

Midweek quiz

Unemployment is on the rise, with competition fierce for many vacancies. And the CV remains an important first step in the recruitment process. Test yourself on the things people say to get a job.

Job interview

1.) Multiple Choice Question

Lying on your CV is illegal, and those found guilty can land up in prison. True or false?

  1. True
  2. False

2.) Multiple Choice Question

"I clearly misstated my academic record and the responsibility for these misstatements is mine alone." Who, caught massaging his CV?

Business man looking incredulously at CV
  1. Lord Archer, author and former politician
  2. CEO of Radio Shack
  3. Lee McQueen, past winner of The Apprentice


Lee McQueen, pictured left with Lord Sugar, won 2008's The Apprentice despite being caught exaggerating in his CV. Nor is he alone - in survey after survey, many people confess to being less than truthful in CVs. Most common is inflating a qualification, such as turning a 2:1 degree into a first.

Alan Sugar and Lee McQueen

3.) Multiple Choice Question

Last week the British Chambers of Commerce said jobseekers should write better CVs. Which is NOT from a genuine resume?

CV in the bin
  1. "I developed a strong attention to detail while working as a Recetpionist"
  2. "Failed medical school with relatively high grades"
  3. "It's best for employers that I not work with people"

4.) Missing Word Question

Jobless graduate prints CV on *

  1. T-shirt
  2. billboard
  3. beer mat

5.) Multiple Choice Question

CV stands for curriculum vitae. What does that mean?

  1. Vital skills
  2. Career path
  3. Course of life
  4. Condensed account

6.) Multiple Choice Question

Video CVs. Some employers love 'em, some hate 'em. A Yale student sent his unintentionally funny video resume to a Wall St firm and it became a YouTube hit. Why?

  1. He sang his CV, complete with karaoke-style lyrics - typed in Comic Sans
  2. Phrases such as "I'm not a one-trick pony - I'm a field of ponies"
  3. It showed him ballroom dancing with a scantily-clad woman, and other irrelevant feats of prowess
  4. His past workplaces were fictional, such as the hospital in ER

7.) Multiple Choice Question

And finally, three of these are CV no-nos and one is good practice. Which one?

Job seeking
  1. Use coloured paper
  2. Title it "Curriculum Vitae" (or CV or Resume)
  3. Illustrate with photo of yourself
  4. Write in bullet points


  1. True - it's a crime under the 2006 Fraud Act (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and the maximum penalty is 10 years. The first person to be jailed was a Stoke-on-Trent man in 2009, who falsely claimed to have a doctorate and masters degree when applying for an NHS job.
  2. It was David Edmondson, chief executive of Radio Shack, dismissed in 2006 after the company discovered he'd falsely added a bachelor of science degree to his CV when he joined 12 years earlier. Lord Archer claimed to have an Oxford University degree, but it was a diploma from the Oxford Department for Education.
  3. It's "Failed medical school..." - the others are quotes from genuine CVs and covering letters. The Chamber of Commerce said public sector workers should be given lessons in interview techniques and CV writing, to help those laid off find work.
  4. It's T-shirt. Last month a Gateshead man took to the streets in a T-shirt with "employ me" printed on the front and his CV on the back. Other jobseekers have hit headlines recently for resorting to sandwich boards and other stunts.
  5. It translates as "course of life". Some say CV, others say resume - borrowed from the French word meaning condensed account or summary.
  6. It's the ballroom dancing. The seven-minute video CV also showed Aleksey Vayner breaking six bricks with one blow and explaining his powers of healing. He didn't get the job. Meanwhile, a British man was given 150 hours of community service in 2010 for claiming on his CV to have qualified as a doctor at Chicago's County General Hospital. The one in ER.
  7. Bullet points can be a good way to clearly summarise your attributes, say experts. Photos are generally discouraged as employers do not want to be accused of favouring - or discriminating against - applicants on the basis of their appearance.

Your Score

0 - 3 : You're fired

4 - 6 : Interview stage

7 - 7 : You're hired

For past quizzes including our weekly news quiz, 7 days 7 questions, expand the grey drop-down below - also available on the Magazine page (and scroll down).

How employable are you? The new Get Yourself Hired test, by BBC Lab UK, takes about 20 minutes.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.