Noway­tomakealiv­ing is col­lec­tively intrigued by today’s appoint­ment of Iain Dun­can Smith as Work and Pen­sions Sec­re­tary in the bodge-job coali­tion which now runs Britain. For­merly leader of the Con­ser­v­a­tive party, and some­time nov­el­ist (his book, The Devil’s Tune is cur­rently 212,689 on Ama­zon best­seller list), the ‘quiet man’ is a provoca­tive choice for the con­cerned employer.

After all, he’s the man who faked his CV, lay­ing claim to hav­ing stud­ied at the Uni­ver­sity of Peru­gia, when really he’d attended the (fab­u­lously named) ‘Uni­ver­sita per Stranieri’, a lan­guage school. He also did a few in-house nightschool courses at GEC Mar­coni, though these were spun as hav­ing attended “Dunchurch Col­lege of Man­age­ment” on his CV. Is this legit­i­mate cre­ativ­ity to pro­duce dis­tinc­tion in an over­crowded labour market?

Although in Bril­liant CV by Bright and Earl, poten­tial employ­ees are reminded that “lying about any aspect of your life dur­ing recruit­ment can be grounds for dis­missal if uncov­ered” (2001: 246), it’s pos­si­ble that under the new Dun­can Smith regime there’ll be more scope for poten­tial recruits to cre­atively embell­ish their job appli­ca­tions. After all, if the man at the top can do it…


Bright, J. And Earl, J. (2001) Bril­liant CV: What Employ­ers Want to See and How to Say it. Pren­tice Hall.