Uncovering CV inaccuracies

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Recent research has discovered that over 27.2% of all verification checks on CVs used in applications between January 2011 and June 2014 uncovered inaccuracies.

The number of applicants for every available job is now extremely high at a time when the workplace and employment levels are recovering from the 2008 financial crisis. This heaps pressure on every individual applicant to ensure they stand out from the crowd – a pressure that could tempt some to exaggerate and falsify their CVs.

A list of common fabrications include:

  • Exaggerated skill set (57%)
  • Exaggerated responsibilities (57%)
  • Employment dates (40%)
  • Job title (36%)
  • Employment history (32%)
  • Academic qualifications (27%)
  • Awards (15%)

It is concerning for businesses that a high number of CV inaccuracies are never picked up on due to a lack a robust verification procedure, with 25% of managers claiming to spend less than 60 seconds scanning an applicant’s CV.

There are a number of legal ramifications arising from CV falsification, including:

  • Potential Fraud: deliberate CV inaccuracies can be classified as fraud. In some cases, this fraud may lead to criminal action, particularly if the fraud has a negative effect on the businesses or people referred to.
  • Capability Issues: claiming to have received higher qualifications can lead to individual’s being offered roles beyond their capabilities. This will cause a serious problem for employers, not to mention embarrassment when the individual in question is dismissed for capability reasons.
  • Lack of Trust and Confidence: employers do not appreciate being lied to. It costs the business time and money, not to mention wasted effort.
  • Loss of Position: lying – even little white lies – will backfire on the employee in the majority of cases. This will lead to dismissal and possible negative repercussions on future employment when references are requested.

Lies in the workplace are never good, and, if left unchecked, can create a toxic environment and culture. For employers, it is important that businesses implement a strong disciplinary policy to deter lies from arising. For individuals, lies have a terrible habit of never completely disappearing and the consequences can follow you through your career – such as negative references etc. Rather than spent wasted resources struggling to expunge a lie, it is always better to never tell one in the first place.


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