- August 9, 2019
- Posted by: Iejaz Uddin
- Category: Career Advice
To lie or not to lie, that is the question. The answer is simple; don’t do it. Trying to promote yourself by lying in your CV is not only unethical, but also not advisable for a number of reasons. Mainly the fact that the employer will probably find out.
After all, experienced hiring managers have seen it all before. They know the key areas that candidates are most likely to tell fibs about. And, in the age of the internet and social media, they can quickly uncover the truth.
It’s also worth remembering that even if you get away with it initially, any lies you tell can catch up with you years later when you’re well into your career. Don’t believe me? Just do some research online and you’ll quickly find many stories of long term employees being suddenly dismissed after evidence has emerged showing fake qualifications, credentials and inaccuracies in their applications.
With that in mind, this article will outline just some of the dangers of lying in your CV.
What happens if get caught lying in your CV
Maybe you’re tempted to tell a little fib to help your application stand out. Well unfortunately, this is likely to backfire. Here’s just some events that might happen if you get caught lying in your CV:
- The employer may immediately reject your job application
- They might also blacklist your name
- If they find out while you’re on the job it could result in immediate dismissal
- In extreme cases, even imprisonment
It’s a sad fact that many people lie in their job applications throughout their careers and get away with it. Some may even boast to close friends about what they’ve done. It’s definitely not a habit we encourage and it goes without saying that if you get caught out then you’re in big trouble.
Why people falsify their CVs
Contrary to popular belief, most people don’t lie to get a job; they do it to win an interview. They may think it seems harmless, inoffensive and a risk worth taking to make them look good.
But, the problems start when you secure an interview. You now have to prove and provide evidence to back up your claims during or after the interview; and this is where you’ll get caught out.
The most common falsehoods in a CV
Lying can be anything from omitting certain key facts and telling white lies, all the way right through to outright fraud. The most common lies usually revolve around:
- Inflating a previous job title or position
- Academic qualifications – falsifying these by claiming degrees you haven’t achieved or boasting of higher grades
- Previous salaries – exaggerating these
- Companies you’ve worked for – trying to impress by dropping big name brands
- Sacked from jobs – hiding the fact you’ve been fired from a previous position
- Hiding career gaps
- Dates of employment – not giving accurate ones
- Levels of responsibility in previous employment
- Not disclosing criminal records or prison sentences
- Work experience and skill sets – up selling these
- Reasons for leaving previous employment
- Lying about your age
- Ability to speak a foreign language
- Personal interests and hobbies
- Fabricating references
How employers catch out candidates
Aside from the usual contacting and checking of your references, employers may also write to your current and previous employers. They could even contact your school, college and university asking them to confirm your employment and educational credentials. Additionally, employers may also:
- Hire specialist companies to conduct background checks
- Ask for proof of your claims i.e. documentation, original certificates etc
- Ask probing questions to catch you out
- Carry out DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks
Employers will note down any discrepancies they discover; they may then dismiss your application or call you in to explain yourself.
If you do get the job after lying in your CV then you’re not out of the woods just yet. Employers may realise you’re unable to carry out the role sufficiently; this will raise their suspicions and possibly lead to an investigation.
Mandatory checks by employers
In certain industries like the financial sector, police, prison service or when working with children or vulnerable people, employers carry out rigid checks on all new staff. So, you definitely won’t get past the strict screening process if you fib in your application.
Worst case scenarios for lying in your CV
In certain cases, lying, omitting, exaggerating or leaving out certain facts of any sort in an application can lead to accusations of fraud or deception.
Some employers may bring criminal charges against current and even ex-employees who starting working for their company through false pretences. Depending on the severity of the allegations, this has occasionally led to prison sentences for the individuals concerned.
Why honesty is the best practise
Ultimately, if you resort to lying in your CV, you’ll have to live with the stress, uncertainty and daily risk of knowing that what you’ve done is wrong.
Not only that, but you’ll constantly be looking over your shoulder and worrying that you’ll be caught out. So, it’s vital for your career and peace of mind that you make sure the facts and information you include in your CV are as accurate as possible. To do otherwise is not only morally wrong, but can also lead to disaster.