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Increasing number of jobseeker CVs contain inaccuracies, finds The Risk Advisory Group

A growing number of job seekers are including false or inaccurate information on their CVs. A recent analysis of 5,500 CVs by The Risk Advisory Group’s employee screening experts found that 70 per cent contained inaccuracies. This is up from 63 per cent of CVs containing discrepancies last year and suggests that employers without adequate screening procedures in place could be making hiring decisions without all the facts.

While men and women are equally likely to lie on their CV, 25 to 32 year-olds emerged as the worst offenders, accounting for 38 per cent of all CV discrepancies.  Younger candidates of between 18 and 24 years old are typically much less likely to lie or be inaccurate on their CV, with only 12 per cent of discrepancies associated with this age group. 

Academic experience and employment history are two of the most common areas for inaccuracy.  63 per cent of CVs analysed by The Risk Advisory Group this year contained inconsistencies relating to academic experience while 43 per cent contained employment history discrepancies.

Some candidates are simply economical with the truth, while others fabricate entire stories in order to get ahead.  Some of the examples that the employee screening experts discovered this year include:

  • One candidate claimed to have obtained a degree from a prestigious English university.  However, not only had he failed to achieve the qualification, he had been expelled from the university
  • One candidate claimed to have not just one but two MBAs, when in fact he had none.  The first was from a ‘fake’ university, the second was supposedly obtained in India where he had only completed a small fraction of the assignments and exams required
  • A candidate going for a key compliance role failed to disclose a County Court Judgement for more than £40,000 – despite having declared no debt in his name
  • A number of candidates misrepresented their experience.  One applicant said he had been employed as a Marketing Manager for a period of six months.  His referee confirmed that he had indeed worked in the marketing department - but as an intern.  Another said she had been employed for three months, and resigned for a better opportunity, while in reality she had been employed for only three days, and simply stopped showing up for work without any explanation
  • When asked to provide a reference, one candidate who had run her own restaurant suggested employee screening experts simply “google” a newspaper clipping with feedback from diners and a photo of her.  Her failure to provide an acceptable proof of employment meant that her job offer was swiftly withdrawn

Commenting on the findings, Michael Whittington, Head of Employee Screening at The Risk Advisory Group, says, “A growing number of people are applying for jobs with inaccurate CVs.   Some discrepancies may be genuine slip-ups, but others are deliberate attempts by job seekers to deceive employers in order to get ahead.”

“The repercussions of making the wrong hire can be huge.  It can cost a company time, money and, potentially, its reputation if things go awry.  And with organised crime and insider fraud on the rise, it can also leave a business exposed to infiltration by rogue candidates, leading to data hacking and security breaches.”

“That is why we urge companies to validate the credentials of all potential hires in advance, thereby avoiding costly mistakes further down the line.”