back to article CV lies multiply in recession, says survey

More would-be bankers than ever are lying on their CVs, according to an annual lie-check conducted by an employee screening company. Powerchex says that 19% of job candidates in the financial services industry had a discrepancy on their CVs. The company said that the number of CVs containing lies submitted to IT contracting …

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Silver badge

And how many employers lie about the vacancy

phrases like "interesting and challenging", "scope for promotion", "lively and motivated team", "excellent work environment". I think that if anyone was bold enough to carry out this survey the answer would be that 100% of them do.

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Coat

It would be interesting to find out how many employers lie when describing roles.

It would be interesting to find out how many employers lie when describing roles.

The amount of times I have been for an interview offering the Market Rate only to find out it is the Market Rate for Poland.

We have this job here which is so interesting you will LOVE IT You can do this and this and we will provide training in this and this and we are a loving caring family. We really try to look after our employee's as if they are our own children...... Oh and did I mention the endless promotion possibilities.

They lie we lie, the key to a good interview is to try and meet somewhere in the middle. I would love to take some companies to account for the falsely advertising roles. I once attended an interview for a Junior Web Admin (circ 18K) when I was currently working as a Senior Web Admin (circ 32k).

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Unhappy

Blimey

I hope no-one finds out that I lied about being Bin Monitor at school.

AC for obvious reasons.

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WTF?

Senior Jobs

"there have been cases where people have been dismissed, even from extremely senior jobs, for lying on CVs years earlier."

I would hope that it was a case of "people have been dismissed, especially from extremely senior jobs" since the more senior the position the more responsibility the staff member is expected to carry and that would seem to go directly against the concept of lying to your employer.

Of course I'm being nieve to think thats how the world really works and realise those at the bottom of the pile are probably far more likely to be dismissed for minor CV discrepancies while those at the top would have to be caught in a serious outright lie before carrying any of that responsibility.

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Silver badge

Digital Pogroms/Binary Constructions

"Why would Microsoft's chief sex instructor apply here?"

Now that would be an interesting interview, requiring above average abilities, which are a pleasure to demonstrate.

Where would one apply here, El Reg, or is a Simple Expression of Earnest Amateur and Life Long Professional Interest Shared on a Threaded Comment Phished/Phormed/Hoovered into a Generative MetaDataBase for Future Build Projects/Virtualised Programs.

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Joke

Follow Up Survey

Will we be getting a survey on advertised posts for accuracy on pay/bonuses, hours worked, responsibilities and promotion prospects?

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Anonymous Coward

Honest and genuine belief?

Doherty: "If ... they hold an honest and genuine belief that the employee has been dishonest then they will be entitled to terminate that employment ..."

Crikey. Is that how the law works? You can sack somebody if you have an "honest and genuine belief" that they lied? Just like you can shoot someone if you honestly believe they're a terrorist?

Surely what's needed is a *reasonable*, *well founded* belief, supported by some evidence.

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Paris Hilton

Ex-bankers

I'm sure that ex-bankers only lie by omission - as in "No, I never worked in the banking industry. Honest." Some things should never be discussed in a job interview.

Paris, 'cause she doesn't have to lie on her CV. She'll just get her daddy to buy the company.

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Big Brother

why not lie?

That you might get caught and fired is surely no deterrant. At least you'll have had the job long enough that they might appreciate you as opposed to being honest and unemployed.

Better to have loved and lost etc.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Honest and genuine belief

"....they can start disciplinary proceedings and if at the end of that process they hold an honest and genuine belief that the employee has been dishonest then they will be entitled to terminate that employment on the grounds of gross misconduct."

is the quote in more context. The implication here, I believe, is that after a disciplinary hearing there is still reason to have an "honest and genuine belief" then that could be used as a basis for sacking your arse.

Accordingly one would assume that the disciplinary hearing would have to have gone very badly for the lying employee for such a belief to remain - remember that any formal disciplinary proceeding will be logged and that the interviewee has the right to have someone present as witness / support.

The implication of the phrase "honest and genuine belief" implies to me that the belief is reasonable, well founded and that sufficient steps have been taken to ascertain the facts.

Look, say you lied about having a degree and your employer begins to suspect this some time down the line. They would ask you for proof, such as your certificate, a letter from your university or possibly some other corroborating data (trustworthy witnesses, say) which should answer the question one way or another. Same with professional qualifications, employment history, etc.

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Emphasis on wrong details

I'm appalled at many of the business hiring practices in the US. It fails frequently, and third party recruiters make a mess of it all.

What's annoying is how employers rarely care about (or HR does a poor job of picking up on) skill level and ability, instead focusing on trivial facts such as prior employers, employment dates, and prior pay. This is especially true for upper level positions, as if those have any barring on one's potential.

It's quite certain that a well paid ex-ms, apple, or google employee will have a large advantage over their non-brand name counterparts. Some of these employees become arrogant because their situation means they don't get to appreciate how difficult it can be to get employment on merit alone without the brand name recognition. Fortunately for them, they will never find out.

I've taken the attitude that you win some you loose some, which is fine. However the if I were to judge the effectiveness of the whole process, I'd be surprised if it were much better than casting dice.

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Unhappy

And the remaining 82%?

As far as I know, I have never lied on a CV or job application. That might help explain why I cannot get a job.

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@Richard Walsh

'At least you'll have had the job long enough that they might appreciate you as opposed to being honest and unemployed'.

I assume your CV is a work of fiction then...

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IT Angle

interviews

Surely this is where interviews come in?? To verify the accuracy of a candidates abilities and experience, through reasoned questioning of their CV.

If a company/interviewer cannot do that then it reflects just as badly on them as it does the candidate.

I've lost count of the number of candidates who have seriously hammed up their CVs to the point whereby within 3 minutes of questions you know they've just listed all the relevant 'buzzwords', in the hope they can talk around it.

This is almost a given for candidates who have formerly been working for 'offshore' suppliers sadly (although I have met a few talented apples amongst them)

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@Pete 2, dunncha, Peter Clarke 1 etc...

Indeed, I think it's a forgone conclusion that in the battle to cram the most lies, untruths and utterations of warped reality into a given surface area of paper, it's the people on the recruiting side of the desk who come out victorious more often than not.

I still shudder at the memories of one interview I went to a few years back, where the role on offer bore only the faintest of resemblances to the role advertised. I'm not particularly fond of interviews at the best of times, so turning up to one where almost instantly you realise you're not the sort of candidate they're looking for, you're struggling to answer all but the simplest of questions they're asking you, and where they can't even be bothered to apologise for dragging you all the way across the country on a false premise, was pretty much guaranteed to put me in a foul mood for the rest of the day.

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FAIL

I'm with the others ...

... questioning the honesty of "the other side" in this.

I'm lucky to be in a job through personal contacts and favours (hence the AC posting), and one thing that struck me when looking at the adverts on the agency websites was that few (if any) were actually honest about the job ! It was quite clear that there was a huge gulf between the requirements for decades of high level experience in multiple 2 year old technologies and the "bottom of the ladder" pay rates. My theory is that they expect you to "embellish" your CV, so they "embellish" the requirements to compensate. But that means they won't get any honest applicants, none at all.

An honest applicant is likely to see the huge gulf, realise that their application will be "sifted" by a junior with no knowledge of what the ticked (or rather, unticked) boxes mean - and infer that it's pointless applying as your application will be one of the first in the shredder. If you do bother applying, you won't get anywhere because your application will be one of the first in the shredder !

"I would advise everybody to be honest on their CVs and application forms ..."

Great advice if you want to remain unemployed.

So how about the recruitment industry sorts itself out and posts honest job adverts, and accept applications from honest applicants ?

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Big Brother

30 years of lies

I try to be truthful, but honestly, there are some thing that just can not be checked, and things I truly don't remember. If they want someone with 5 years experience and I only have 4, sure I will pad it. I have 8 out of the 10 required skills, sure, I will tell them I have the experience, but haven't done much of it recently, if that's what it takes to get the job. Was I really the Sr. engineer at a company that closed 20 years ago, or just one of many. Outright lie, no, but mess with the little details a little, sure. Every company I have worked for has thought that I was a questionable hire, or the last one left who would take the money, but none of them were ever disappointed with their choice once I was on staff, a few of them begged me to reconsider (with $$), and one even cried. Yes, I am that good, but you really can't tell that from a CV.

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Paris Hilton

Can Be Good As Well As Bad

Let's face it, if someone is adept at lying then for some positions that could potentially be good for the role being undertaken. If someone can be convincing to others that they know what they are doing, perhaps despite never having had experience in that area previously - and they have the wherewithal to actually learn fast and do a good job regardless then I see that as a whole lot different to being told "weapons of mass destruction exist in Iraq" by a slimy toad who should be hanged for his crimes.

And Paris because as I was thinking about my answer here I was thinking about lying, honest. Bu it was a different type of lying, if you know what I mean.

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Thumb Down

Redundant paragraph...?

"Financial services job applicants submitted CVs containing lies in 19% of cases, a 12% rise on last year. The figure represents a three year high for lie figures, Powerchex said.

The figure of 18% for IT contracting jobs is triple what it was last year and is also a three year high, the company said."

I'd say one of these paragraphs is redundant, wouldn't you?

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Anonymous Coward

My CV

was a beautiful piece of fiction (just enough truth to obfuscate the lies), during unemployed years in the 80s I was travelling, in the 90s I worked for various companies that went under. but I never falsified checkable facts, that's just asking for trouble. I got nearly every job I applied for.

Once you have the job, if they want to sack you for lies on your CV, chances are they're just looking for an excuse to get rid. Your performance in the job there and then is far more important to a boss than a piece of fiction you created to get your foot in the door.

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