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To lie or not to lie (on your CV)?

06 October 2017, Headlines | 0 Comments

To lie or not to lie (on your CV)?

According to a recent Australian survey, one-fifth (18%) of people living in the APAC region admit to lying on their CV (and a further 5% would "prefer not to say").

This begs the question, what are people lying about? Mostly, people are lying about their experience, with 44% of survey participants admitting to having embellished this on their CV.[1] Interestingly, people also admitted to lying about their ‘personal interests’, through a fear of not sounding ‘interesting enough’ on their CV (32% admitted to this lie).[2] Other common areas for fabricating the truth included how long participants had spent in a job (30%) and their education level or qualifications (30%).[3]

Interestingly, the survey found that those most likely to lie were in the ‘over 45s’ category, rather than the younger demographic.[4]

Given this recognition that lying on a CV is not that uncommon these days, the response from many companies has now been to offer roles initially as a contract, with the possibility of permanency, in order to test out new hires for the skills that they have listed on their CV.[5] Obviously, employers will not trust staff who claim on their CV to have a skill-set that they actually do not possess, which usually results in termination of employment.

In an extreme case, employers have the option of first sacking and then prosecuting a staff member for fraud if they have lied on their CV and presented false documents to back up their education.[6]Although this is incredibly rare, being terminated early into your new job is a real risk if you have stretched the truth in your application. Interestingly, in Western Australia, the Government has now given local council employers the authority to impose a $5000 fine on applicants for CEO positions who have provided false or misleading information about their qualifications on their CV or through the application and interview process.[1]

So, next time you’re applying for a job you may want to think twice about that little white lie, especially if it relates to your University marks or qualifications. Plans are underway in Australia to set up a national online database of University records, ensuring a quick and easy reference point for recruiters and/or employers to verify whether the candidate did receive those grades that he or she is claiming, or whether in fact they actually even attended the institution listed.[2]

In short, lying does not pay off. While most CVs contain small white lies, such as an exaggeration in length of employment at a previous employer,[3] bigger fabrications such as level of experience/responsibility, or complexity of a previous role, can catch a candidate out with a new employer. And this can have serious consequences for their career in both the short, and long, term.










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