CV lies on the increase

Employers
should be more rigorous when checking new employees, as new research shows
two-thirds of CVs submitted by job applicants in 2003 contained lies or
inaccuracies.

The
statistics, released today by The Risk Advisory Group (TRAG), mark a jump of 16
per cent over 2002, when 56 per cent of CVs were found to contain some form of
inaccuracy.

Women
in their early thirties were the worst offenders, with 77 per cent of CVs
containing some form of discrepancy. Even among the most honest group – men in
their early twenties – half the CVs (50 per cent) contained discrepancies.

TRAG’s
specialist employee screening unit analysed more than 3,000 of the candidate
CVs that were screened during the year for the study, uncovering discrepancies
ranging from gaps in employment to falsified qualifications and fraud committed
against previous employers.

The
trend seems to be worsening, with nearly three-quarters (71 per cent) of CVs
screened in the last quarter of 2003 containing lies or inaccuracies.

The
most common discrepancies were in employment history (55 per cent of CVs) and
academic qualifications (36 per cent).

Bill
Waite, chief executive of The Risk Advisory Group, said: “Many of the
discrepancies we uncover are simple errors or omissions. But around one in 10
will be something more serious, such as criminal convictions, fraud against
previous employers or even terrorist links.

"Where
the discrepancies are simple omissions, employers should still be asking
themselves if they are getting what they thought they were.

“The
message for employers is to be far more rigorous in checking out new potential
employees. And the message for candidates is to be scrupulous in selling
themselves truthfully.

“This
is the second year running in which we have seen significant increases in the
number of inaccuracies. In a tougher job market, it is clear the temptations
for exaggeration or downright lying increase dramatically,” he added.

By Quentin Reade

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