The idea of stretching the truth somewhat on a CV is often underestimated, but can come back to haunt those who do it.
LinkedIn has recommended a new article on the topic to its readers to emphasise this point, with editor at LinkedIn News Yunita Ong observing that while lying can be tempting, the charade will “easily fall apart upon careful questioning during job interviews or background checks”.
Moreover, she noted, “Employers will likely mark you as ‘do not hire’ or even fire you from the job once discovered.”
The piece in question, by Fast Company, noted that being economical with the truth is certainly not a minority pursuit. Research by Resumelab last year found that 36 per cent of people told blatant untruths and 20 per cent exaggerated details for effect. Moreover, 93 per cent of people said they knew someone who had lied on their CV.
All this could be uncovered using an effective background checking service. By particularly rooting out the worst lies, it will not only help prevent people who are not as qualified as they would claim from getting a job they are not actually sufficiently skilled to do; it will also help to ensure that a firm can have a more honest workforce.
The article noticed that some forms of CV checking software are actually hoodwinked by false information put in white font, which are not seen by human eyes – unless the recruiter is smart and switches the font to black in a manual check.
Motivations for lying include trying to cover up unemployment, matching keywords and a sense of the recruitment process being highly impersonal.
Ultimately, however, being discovered can be calamitous. It can lead not just to dismissal, but the loss of a future chance to be hired for a different role at the same firm.
For the person missing out on a job, that could be a big problem. But it is better that a dishonest person faces the consequences of their actions than an employer suffers for hiring a liar who can’t do the thing they were recruited for.