The truth always comes out in the end – CV lies

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With the Apprentice coming to an end, viewers were left enthralled by the exciting interview stage, during which contestant James White was discovered to have lied about certain details of his work history on his application. But how many people lie on their CV and how serious is it?

In a recent survey by Printerland, more than half of UK employees admitted to being dishonest on a job application or CV. Women are more likely to lie, but more men are guilty of inflating their current salary. A quarter of respondents admitted to naming a friend rather than a previous boss, as a referee. 23% of those who admitted to being dishonest said that they did so to obtain a higher salary.

Printerland also reported that over 60% of employers suspected that at least one candidate had lied on their application. And, while three-quarters of those questioned the candidate further, 7% removed them from the running. Of the 32% of candidates that got found out after getting the job, only 12% got away without further repercussions such as compulsory extra training, pay cuts or even being fired.

There have recently been several high-profile cases where people in prominent positions have been found to have been dishonest on their CV. In March, a senior NHS manager was jailed after 10 years of working in the NHS, after it was discovered that his PhDs and Masters degrees were fabrications. It was also found the he lied about his work history.

Research by YouGov shows that the most common lies people tell are about their qualifications and education, with work history being a close second. But the same survey also reported that 1% of people lie about something as basic as their name, which makes you wonder what else they might be being dishonest about.

As a hiring manager it is your responsibility to vet your candidates and confirm that they are up to the job. Thorough and meticulous pre-employment screening will ensure you avoid hiring the wrong person.