fibbingA job application or CV is one of the most commonly falsified documents around.

It has been estimated that as many as 30% of job seekers will either hide some truths, exaggerate or outright lie on their CV to get a foot in the door. This is especially true for jobs in smaller companies where candidates may assume there are less likely to be background checks performed.

1)     Covering gaps in employment history. This is the most common deliberate mistake people make when writing a CV or filling in a job application, to cover any gaps in employment they do not want to explain.

2)     Exaggerating current/previous salary/job Title. The good thing about this for potential employers is that references will usually out anybody trying to inflate their previous salaries or roles to get a better job. While a lot of companies will not reveal actual salaries they will usually submit the pay range for the role.

3)     Inflating/falsifying qualifications. Many candidates will claim to have completed a qualification when in fact they only made it half-way through. They rely on their knowledge of the subject matter to convince potential employers of their academic accomplishments whilst hoping this is enough that they won’t be asked to produce proof. There are also some black market document farms where degree certificates can be purchased, although this is less common.

4)     Concealing a drug habit. Addicts and alcoholics are unlikely to admit to their problem at an interview. Employers should be aware of the signs to look for.

5)     Omitting to mention a criminal record. In some cases this may simply be a case of someone wanting to make a fresh start, but in some it can put other employees and clients at risk. Checks are legally required in high-risk industries such as childcare or finance.

In today’s job market more and more companies are performing background checks at every level. Whether you are trying to find a director job online at sites like Director Appointments or simply get a foot in the door somewhere, telling lies only hinders your future prospects.

Matt Comley, Commercial Director at Director Appointments comments on honesty in the recruitment process;

“Honesty in the recruitment process saves a lot of time and embarrassment in the long run. The majority of new employers will request references from the candidates previous employers, within this they will ask for dates of employment and job titles.  Adding on a few months to hide gaps in employment, and changes to job titles so one can appear more senior quite often has detrimental consequences.

I remember being contacted for a reference once where a candidate had mentioned that he had 3 direct reports, when actually he had none.  The candidate had passed a 3 stage interview process but failed on the integrity of his job profile descriptions within his CV so did not gain employment.”


This post was contributed by Director Appointments, a specialist job board provider.

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