How creative with the truth can you be on your CV? It turns out that recruiters in the Netherlands are quite forgiving in that regard. Almost 44 percent think it’s perfectly fine to stretch the truth a little bit on your resume.

It makes the Netherlands one of most liberal countries in Europe when it comes to making your career sound more impressive than it really is. The strictest country turns out to be Italy; only 7 percent of recruiters think candidates should stretch the truth. That is one of the conclusions of a study conducted by Page Personnel about what’s important on your CV. Over 4,245 job candidates and 619 recruitment consultants across Page Personnel participated in the study.

More honesty

“It doesn’t mean that candidates in other countries are more honest than in the Netherlands,” explains Joost Fortuin, Managing Director of Page Personnel Netherlands. “I believe it actually means recruiters in Netherlands are just more realistic about human behavior. Just like anybody who has to sell something, job applicants will always try to look their best. Compare it to renting your apartment on Airbnb: the photos will make it look a little more beautiful and bigger than it is in reality. That’s fine, as long as visitors can at least still recognise the apartment when they arrive. The same goes for your CV: it’s fine to make the truth sound better, as long as it is still the truth.”

What is really important on your CV? Click on the image to find out

Employment gap

One of subjects job applicants don’t need to dodge in their CVs are any employment gaps in their career. According to the study, 92 percent of recruiters think it’s no problem to have gap on your CV that´s longer than 6 months. “Maybe in the past it was perceived as a sign of being a weaker candidate, but right now it’s perfectly normal to go – for example – on sabbatical leave or to temporally take time off to study or take care of your children,” says Joost Fortuin.

Getting personal

Compared with other European countries, employers in the Netherlands appreciate a personal note on the candidate’s resume: 90 percent of consultants say it´s important to include your personal motivation, and 84 percent suggest including your hobbies as well. “Not only do they give employers an idea of your personality, including a hobby or personal motivation is also a great way to make yourself stand out from the crowd,” explains Joost Fortuin. “If you’ve achieved something exceptional or you have passion that no-one else has, recruiters will remember you for sure.”

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