Lying on CVs costs UK billions

An estimated 7.5 million of Britain’s 25 million workers mislead their employer in some way when applying for a job, resume checkers CV has found.

And they stand a 50% chance of getting away with it as only in one in two employers conduct any kind of check on the background of applicants.

Of those that do checks, most contact referees or previous employees, with a third contacting relevant educational institutions. Only one-in-ten make the use of a specialist checking firm, due to the fact that many are unaware that such companies exist.

A fifth of those employers that don’t check rely on gut feelings, while the most frequently cited reason for not running reference checks is lack of time and a desire to make an assessment based on ‘on the job’ performance.

But these companies run the risk of suffering large losses of money due to fraud. CV cited a report by accountants Ernst & Young which found that company employees cost their business £18m a day in fraud, or a whopping £6.3bn a year.

And companies could reduce this by conducting proper reference checks.

Mark Castle, managing director of CV, said: ‘If a manager uncovered untruthful information during the application process, almost three-fifths would not offer the candidate the job’.

Organisations that make it clear that they have a policy of checking CVs would save money by ‘deterring impostor applicants and frightening away fraudulent staff’, Castle said.

According to CV, a fifth of applicants lied or gave misleading information in the belief that companies would do any check up.

Candidates most commonly lied about their leisure pursuits and their previous salary, with personal skills also high on the list.

In addition, one-in-five applicants hid the truth from employees regarding previous work experience that ended badly and felt it was necessary to exaggerate on their CVs to make them ‘stand out’.

Applicants also lied about education history, qualifications, and previous job titles.

And the fairer, sex, it seems, is less honest when it comes to looking for work. A third of woman under 34 lie on their CVs, compared to just a quarter of men.

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