CV lies multiply in recession, says survey
Why would Microsoft's chief sex instructor apply here?
More would-be bankers than ever are lying on their CVs, according to an annual lie-check conducted by an employee screening company. Powerchex says that 19% of job candidates in the financial services industry had a discrepancy on their CVs.
The company said that the number of CVs containing lies submitted to IT contracting firms has risen to 18%. Powerchex added that the increase is due to the recession making the job market more difficult.
Financial services job applicants submitted CVs containing lies in 19% of cases, a 12% rise on last year. The figure represents a three year high for lie figures, Powerchex said.
The figure of 18% for IT contracting jobs is triple what it was last year and is also a three year high, the company said.
“This is the second year in a row that there has been an increase in the number of candidates lying to recruiters," said Alexandra Kelly, managing director of Powerchex. "The pressure of the recession on job markets seems to have led more applicants to believe that they should lie or make embellished claims to get jobs."
The figures are gleaned from 4,735 job applications submitted in the year to May 2009. Applicants lied about many kinds of details including professional qualifications, job histories, criminal records, academic qualifications and responsibilities, Powerchex said.
The research found that university graduates are more honest than non-graduates, and men more honest than women. It said that City brokers received a disproportionate number of applicants who had hidden their criminal records.
By far the most common discrepancy was in employment dates, which represented 42% of all discrepancies. Next most common were undisclosed directorships, followed by lies about academic qualifications.
The research was carried out by the Shell Technology and Enterprise Programme on behalf of Powerchex.
Employment law specialist Ben Doherty of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind OUT-LAW.COM, agreed that the economic downturn is adding to pressure on job applicants.
"In my experience, as a result of the credit crunch the number of applicants for each vacancy has increased, whilst the number of vacancies has decreased," he said. "Accordingly, the level of competition for vacant posts has increased significantly."
Doherty said that would-be workers who lie on CVs or applications can be fired when found out.
"I would advise everybody to be honest on their CVs and application forms," he said. "The fact that you lied may not come to the employers attention for some time but there have been cases where people have been dismissed, even from extremely senior jobs, for lying on CVs years earlier."
"An employer who has suspicions that an employee has been dishonest in the application process can investigate that potential misconduct and interview the employee," said Doherty. "If they are still concerned they can start disciplinary proceedings and if at the end of that process they hold an honest and genuine belief that the employee has been dishonest then they will be entitled to terminate that employment on the grounds of gross misconduct."
Copyright © 2009, OUT-LAW.com
OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.
was a beautiful piece of fiction (just enough truth to obfuscate the lies), during unemployed years in the 80s I was travelling, in the 90s I worked for various companies that went under. but I never falsified checkable facts, that's just asking for trouble. I got nearly every job I applied for.
Once you have the job, if they want to sack you for lies on your CV, chances are they're just looking for an excuse to get rid. Your performance in the job there and then is far more important to a boss than a piece of fiction you created to get your foot in the door.
"Financial services job applicants submitted CVs containing lies in 19% of cases, a 12% rise on last year. The figure represents a three year high for lie figures, Powerchex said.
The figure of 18% for IT contracting jobs is triple what it was last year and is also a three year high, the company said."
I'd say one of these paragraphs is redundant, wouldn't you?
I'm with the others ...
... questioning the honesty of "the other side" in this.
I'm lucky to be in a job through personal contacts and favours (hence the AC posting), and one thing that struck me when looking at the adverts on the agency websites was that few (if any) were actually honest about the job ! It was quite clear that there was a huge gulf between the requirements for decades of high level experience in multiple 2 year old technologies and the "bottom of the ladder" pay rates. My theory is that they expect you to "embellish" your CV, so they "embellish" the requirements to compensate. But that means they won't get any honest applicants, none at all.
An honest applicant is likely to see the huge gulf, realise that their application will be "sifted" by a junior with no knowledge of what the ticked (or rather, unticked) boxes mean - and infer that it's pointless applying as your application will be one of the first in the shredder. If you do bother applying, you won't get anywhere because your application will be one of the first in the shredder !
"I would advise everybody to be honest on their CVs and application forms ..."
Great advice if you want to remain unemployed.
So how about the recruitment industry sorts itself out and posts honest job adverts, and accept applications from honest applicants ?
30 years of lies
I try to be truthful, but honestly, there are some thing that just can not be checked, and things I truly don't remember. If they want someone with 5 years experience and I only have 4, sure I will pad it. I have 8 out of the 10 required skills, sure, I will tell them I have the experience, but haven't done much of it recently, if that's what it takes to get the job. Was I really the Sr. engineer at a company that closed 20 years ago, or just one of many. Outright lie, no, but mess with the little details a little, sure. Every company I have worked for has thought that I was a questionable hire, or the last one left who would take the money, but none of them were ever disappointed with their choice once I was on staff, a few of them begged me to reconsider (with $$), and one even cried. Yes, I am that good, but you really can't tell that from a CV.
Can Be Good As Well As Bad
Let's face it, if someone is adept at lying then for some positions that could potentially be good for the role being undertaken. If someone can be convincing to others that they know what they are doing, perhaps despite never having had experience in that area previously - and they have the wherewithal to actually learn fast and do a good job regardless then I see that as a whole lot different to being told "weapons of mass destruction exist in Iraq" by a slimy toad who should be hanged for his crimes.
And Paris because as I was thinking about my answer here I was thinking about lying, honest. Bu it was a different type of lying, if you know what I mean.