A 2015 survey conducted by Higher Education Degree Datacheck revealed that almost one third of graduates embellished or lied about their academic qualifications on their CV. Here we examine why you should never be “creative” with the truth when it comes to your CV.
Trust is a very important foundation in professional relationships and by lying on your CV you breach that trust from the very beginning. It can seem all too tempting to boost grades or exaggerate responsibilities to make that crucial first impression but what happens when you get found out?
In April 2015 fraud prevention officers warned students across the country that they could face imprisonment for embellishing their CVs with overstated qualifications and achievements. It prompted the publication of “Don’t Finish Your Career Before It Starts” warning that dishonesty on a CV could be classed as “fraud by false representation”, carrying a maximum 10-year jail sentence in the most serious cases. It further advised that cases referred to the fraud prevention services CIFAS would remain on file for six years potentially flagging individuals when applying for other jobs.
Even those in the legal profession are not adverse to a little white lie. Last October, barrister Dennis O’Riordan was fired from his top city law firm after falsely stating he had degrees from Harvard and Oxford. Given that he actually had a degree from the University of East Anglia he was fully qualified for the job. His lie however resulted in him not only being fired, but later barred from practising as barrister by his professional regulator.
It’s true that in society today the job market is extremely competitive. It is not unheard of for several hundred candidates to apply for one position. Candidates will go to extraordinary lengths to stand out from the crowd from getting a little creative with academic grades and work experience to purchasing degree qualifications online. Even if an untruth goes undetected during the recruitment process, it can come back to haunt you years later, giving reasonable grounds to terminate your employment. The fact of the matter is, lying on a CV or a job application form is fraud and it’s illegal!
If you think your CV is lacking it is better to focus on highlighting actual experience and how that might benefit the job in question. It doesn’t have to be a perfect fit for the role but it needs to be relevant and above all accurate.
As an employer, if you find out an applicant is not the star they have lead you to believe you may be entitled to revoke a job offer. If you have already employed them however, more care will be needed and you should seek specialist professional advice.
If you are concerned about an employee’s credentials, at Backhouse Solicitors we offer a free 30 minute consultation with an expert employment law solicitor. For this, or any other recruitment issue within your business contact us today:
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