The consequences of lying on your CV

It can seem almost acceptable to exaggerate, stretch the truth or tell lies on a CV and think that you can get away…

However, new research demonstrates that HR professionals are becoming wise to the techniques being used by some job applicants to ensure that they secure themselves an interview for that dream job.

Here, we look at the outcomes for those who get caught lying on their CV in order to get a job and we ask why some people might think that this is an acceptable way to behave in the current market and economic conditions.

There can be many reasons why people choose not to tell the whole truth on a CV. Lots of untruths revolve mainly around qualifications and career history. While you might think that qualifications are something that are quite difficult to lie about without getting caught, a lot of employers will not insist on seeing certificates or proof of qualifications.

They will look at these, together with work history and references and if you have told a ‘little white lie’ about your degree classification or the grades you achieved in your A Levels, then these may never be discovered. However, according to the research conducted by NGA Human Resources, in situations where qualifications were found to have been exaggerated or were simply untrue, these were the areas where candidates stood the most chance of being removed from the recruitment process.

Another area where people are likely to be less than truthful is on their work history. This can be a vital part of the selection process, but if you have had gaps in your employment history, then it might be tempting to try and ‘fill them’ with roles that just didn’t exist. If candidates choose to do this, then in order to avoid being caught, they would need to include experience that would be difficult to verify, such as periods of working abroad or working for companies that no longer exist.

Again, according to the research, this was one of the areas where recruiters were most likely to spot that candidates were not being truthful, but one of the least likely reasons for candidates being removed from the recruitment process.

So what happens if you lie on your CV and you get caught? According to the research, over half of the recruiters who were surveyed said that they had previously eliminated candidates from the recruitment process who were found to have lied on their CV.

The most common area to spot where someone hadn’t told the truth was in relation to their skills, while candidates who had lied about qualifications stood the highest chance of being removed from the recruitment process.

While HR departments need to be very thorough with their checking during the recruitment process, for candidates, the message is that if you lie on your CV, you are very likely to be caught out, either during the process or once you have secured a position. The potential consequences mean that it is just not worth it.

Recruiters love this COMPLETE set of Accredited Recruitment & HR Training – View Training Brochure

Comment on this story

The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

Send this to a friend