If you graduated from one of the nation’s top 20 universities, you are less likely to lie on your CV to get a good job; a recent survey shows.
On the contrary, if you graduated from one of the UK’s lowest ranked schools, you are more likely to embellish your background.
The survey, which was conducted by pre-employment screening firm Powerchex, reveals that 43% of applicants from the UK’s lowest ranking universities have some form of major embellishment hidden in their application, compared to just 14% of applicants from the Top 20 rated schools.
“What this survey says is that graduates from lesser-known universities may feel they need to alter their background to compete”, says Powerchex managing director Alexandra Kelly.
“There appears to be a trend that the lower ranked the university, the higher the likelihood of discrepancies on a CV”, she added.
Kai Peters, Chief Executive at Ashridge Business School agrees with Kelly: “The survey suggests that individuals with the discipline to get into good universities are proud of their performance and see no need to embellish their CVs”
The survey also revealed a link between the subject area studied at university and the frequency of falsifications. More specifically, graduates in the subjects of arts and humanities had the highest rate of discrepancies (22%) whilst maths based students tend to have the lowest (6%).
Contrary to popular opinion, graduates in finance also had a low rate of falsifications (13%), second only to maths when it comes to being honest on job applications.
It is not good news for some graduates: “The survey suggests that those who pursue creative writing degrees extend fiction writing to their CVs” continues Kai Peters.
This is however good news for business schools that have placed an emphasis on ethical behaviour and integrity.
Mark Zupan, Dean of the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester (recently ranked 3rd in the world for finance by the FT) commented,
“Contrary to the common-held belief that finance students are less inclined to behave ethically, these results indicate that the exact opposite may be true.”