When you spot a job advert for your dream role, it could be tempting to go to any lengths to win it, even lying on your CV about your qualifications and experience. According to research from the Higher Education Degree Datacheck, around a third of graduates aren’t honest when they write their CV.
Perhaps, for example, the job you want calls for a 2:1, but you only got a 2:2. It may seem a good idea to change one little number. But, is it worth it? You may well have got the job anyway, even if you don’t tick every single box. If, however, your employers find out you’ve lied, you could end up losing the position you were so desperate to get. Here are just some of the risks you face if you choose to embellish the truth on your resume:
You could lose your job
Several high profile cases have shown the risk in lying about your qualifications. In one, barrister Dennis O’Riordan was forced to quit his job at a top city law firm and barred from practicing after falsely claiming he had degrees from both Harvard and Oxford. He was, in fact, a fully qualified barrister with a degree from the University of East Anglia. But, he felt that may not be seen as good enough for someone in such a senior position.
Checks could be carried out
Those who lie rely on employers not bothering to check qualifications with the issuing body or university. This becomes even more of a likelihood the further away from leaving school or university you get. Employers may well then assume that qualifications will have been checked at some point down the line, so they don’t have to bother. But, that’s not always the case. You may find that your CV is the one that is singled out to be checked.
Little white lies may bite you
Even if you think what you are lying about is unimportant, it could raise questions with your prospective employer about just how trustworthy you are. You may have a gap in your employment history because you aren’t proud of where you worked or you don’t feel it was relevant. But your employer may think if you have lied by omission, can you be trusted to reveal everything else that you should?
You won’t be able to relax
Starting a new job is stressful enough without giving yourself something else to worry about. The fear will always be there that you will be found out if you’ve lied on your CV. And, being at a company for a length of time is no guarantee that your untruths won’t come back to haunt you. In one case, the dean of a college quit after 28 years in the job when an audit revealed she didn’t have the qualifications she claimed.
You’ll struggle to get another job
If one employer finds out that you’ve lied on your CV and you are forced to leave that position, you will face difficulties finding work elsewhere. What reason are you going to give for having been in one post for such a short space of time? And, who are you going to ask for a reference?
You might even face jail
Lying on your CV could even, in the very worst case scenario, land you in jail as it is classed as committing fraud. In one such case a student was jailed for 12 weeks after lying about his qualifications while applying for a teaching post, while another was jailed for six months for lying about her A-levels and fabricating references.
There’s no doubt that when so many people are lying on their CV, you may feel you have to in order to get ahead. The problem is so rife that the UK’s fraud prevention service CIFAS has even issued a new publication in a bid to warn young people of the consequences of lying on job applications, calling Don’t Finish Your Career Before It Starts.
As Simon Dukes, chief executive officer of CIFAS explains: “We understand it is a tough job market and that even the most honest graduate may feel a lot of pressure to make his or her CV stand out from the crowd, but it’s better to be straightforward and keep your integrity. Not only do employers value these qualities highly, but they are essential for career success.”
Lewis Paige take great care when reviewing CV’s for all positions from Legal IT to Print and Design vacancies. However like all recruitment agencies we rely on the honesty of our candidates from day one. If you decide you aren’t going to tell the truth on your CV then your job could be at risk not just now but possibly for many years to come. Don’t take the risk and instead go for new job roles that are most in line with your existing qualifications, skills and experience.