Employment Law, Featured

If you were to sell water…

as  ‘not inflammable’ , someone would get it on fire and complain.

This is exactly what a graduate did who made headlines yesterday. Trying to get a job through W&I job brokers, she was advised that in order to land the more menial jobs she was after, to ‘dumb down’ her CV and leave out her university degree.  She then complained about that advice, feeling  ‘mortified’.  So, once again, job brokers are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to advising clients:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/national/3662247/Jobseeker-told-to-dumb-down-CV

Anyway, the more interesting point here is whether a job applicant runs the risk of misleading their prospective employer by ‘tuning’ their CV.   Similar to the rules around misrepresentation in normal contract law, a misrepresentation in an employment relationship can entitle the other side (usually the employer) to terminate the contract, maybe even demand damages. It has been generally accepted and confirmed in Court that non-disclosure of criminal convictions (within the framework of the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004) can lead to instant dismissal, even many years later.

But does that also apply to employees who are overqualified and dont disclose it? Technically, its also misrepresenation – a deliberate non-disclosure of a crucial fact, inducing the employer to hire the employee.  So is  the employer disadvantaged by having someone with a higher qualification working for him (for less money and without his knowledge?)  Maybe. The employer can still argue that such behaviour undermines the trust and confidence of the relationship. Once a liar…

Intersting and I dont think there is a clear answer. If in doubt, I suggest stick to the truth and rather indicate you are happy with the lower salary or are looking for some less brainy work for a change. Thats at least original and just might get you the job.

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www.thelonggoodbye.wordpress.com