Exaggerating the truth or outright making information up on CVs isn’t a new thing, but that doesn’t mean it’s in any way an effective means to take a step up the job ladder. It’s just not worth it at the end of the day. Interviewers were not born yesterday and they do this for a living. The moment a candidate hesitates before answering a question relating to their experience or forgets about the details listed on their CV, they are caught and immediately out of the running for the job.
If you don’t have the exact skills an employer is looking for but still think you could be a good fit for the position, make your case in your cover letter and let the person on the receiving end be the one to decide whether or not to call you in for an interview. Employers are surprisingly more open to people with transferable skills these days, meaning you don't necessarily have to have direct experience or qualifications in a specific field to be employed. Let your credentials and merits speak for themselves without being inflated and make it clear that you’re willing to learn new skills and adapt to your potential future position if necessary. The fact that you admit to not knowing something will most likely earn you far more respect than saying you do and then making a mess of things for your colleagues and employer.
Made-up job titles, departments and companies that can’t be contacted for referrals will most likely lead to an abrupt end to your running for the job. Smaller details about your previous experience may go unnoticed by interviewers, but these can land you in a dead-end job which you wouldn’t want anyway. In the long run, that can hurt your job satisfaction and be even worse for your career. Bending the truth about your career goals is unfair to both your prospective employer and yourself. Assuming you get the position you applied for, eventually, the gap between what you really wanted and what you said that you wanted in the interview and subsequent meetings will grow and your true intent will be revealed none the less. Apart from that, social media is now a major part of our lives and everyone has access to it - including your potential employers – which makes it an easy way for your credentials to be looked into. Your best way forward, if you feel you are under-qualified yet want to advance your career, is to be yourself and more importantly, invest in yourself with a clear career and development path in mind.