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The lies they tell! Beware the CVs of jobseekers

September 22, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A fifth of jobseekers admit to having lied on their CV, according to new research conducted among residents of APAC (Asia-Pacific, a region that includes Australia). Employers have one question: what porkies are they telling?

Research by YouGov, a global online community involving millions of people and thousands of political, cultural and commercial organisations, has found that the most common lies people tell are about their experience and personal interests

A fifth (18%) of APAC (Asia-Pacific region) residents admit to having lied on their CV and an additional 5% say they would “prefer not to say”, which may amount to the same thing. But what porkies are they telling?

The results show that, first and foremost, experience is the most likely part of a CV to be embellished, with four in 10 (44%) résumé embellishers having fibbed about this.

People who worry about not sounding interesting enough in the “personal interests” section of their résumé should note that this too was a fairly common fabrication, with three in 10 (32%) of CV liars admitting to lying here. Other common CV lies include how long respondents had spent in a job (30%) and their education or qualifications (30%).

Older jobseekers are more likely to lie about their age, research suggests, but despite spending less time in the job market, younger generations are more likely to have lied on their CV overall; just one in seven (14%) of those 45+ have lied on their CV, compared with one in five (20%) of those under 45.

However, among those that have lied on the CV, older jobseekers are likely to tell more lies. In particular, older jobseekers are more likely to lie about their age – a quarter (26%) of those aged 45 and over who have lied about their CV have lied about their age, compared with 16% of those under 44. Other lies include the length of time they spent in a job (37% of those aged 45+ to 29% of those under 45); and their current salary (28% to 21%).

Colin Marson, chief executive of YouGov APAC, comments, “The findings of the latest YouGov Omnibus survey may surprise a fair few employers and recruiters, who have long relied on CVs as a primary means of shortlisting candidates.

“Given the potential and capability of emerging technologies, recruiters may have to look to more diverse integrated models of recruitment to ensure that companies are getting the best – and the most honest(!) – candidates coming through in the future.”

That sounds like trawling through social media, which many employers and HR departments do anyway. As for lying about age, social media and other channels make that particular lie increasingly difficult to maintain.

Edited by Peter Needham

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