HR · 1 May 2018

Employers beware: Top 5 CV lies jobseekers are telling

Man searching employment in a bad job interview with the interviewer looking mistrustful

Nine out of ten people have got away with lying to an employer by telling CV lies, and 72 per cent of people have gotten a job because of it.

According to new research from job board CV library, UK professionals are more willing to take the risk in order to secure a job.

Commenting on this, founder of CV library, Lee Biggins said: “It’s clear from our findings that UK workers are not afraid to tell white lies on their CV in order to get a job. For employers, this means recruitment teams need to become more vigilant when it comes to vetting and assessing potential hires.

“So whether that’s asking for references from previous roles, or ensuring you ask the right interview questions to get the most out of your candidates, it’s important that you consider whether someone may be trying to pull the wool over your eyes”

The top five CV lies that Brits tell potential employers are:

  1. Dates of employment (31.4 per cent)
  2. Gaps in their CV (27.1 per cent)
  3. Salary (to secure a higher one) (21.4 per cent)
  4. Work experience (12.9 per cent)
  5. Responsibilities in their previous job (11.4 per cent)

Even though most Brits are telling porkies on their CVs, a surprising 90 per cent of workers agree that it is wrong to do so.

Nevertheless, 70 per cent believe that professionals are forced into twisting the truth as because employers expect too much of them.

When asked why UK staff are fibbing on their CV the primary reason appears to be to look more experienced at 64 per cent.

Following this, other reasons were to appear more qualified (55 per cent), to gain a higher salary (41 per cent) and to look more skilled at (32 per cent).

Despite lying on their CV, 86 per cent of staff worry that they would be given a job they didn’t know how to do.

In addition, over three quarters (78 per cent) would feel apprehensive in case their new employer found out and fired them.

What’s more, after securing a position 82 per cent would be concerned that they would struggle to do the job as a result of their lie.

The questions to make or break a job interview

Separate CV-Library research revealed which interview questions are able to suss out a candidate’s true potential.

According to 1,200 professionals, the following five questions had directly jeopardised their chance at passing an interview.

  1. What does your company do? (53 per cent)
  2. How often do you give your employees a pay-rise? (52.9 per cent)
  3. Will I have to work long hours? (50.3 per cent)
  4. How much will I get paid? (49.8 per cent)
  5. Do you offer sick pay? (45.4 per cent)

Meanwhile, the following five questions were found to have won over an employer

  1. Is there room for development in this position? (74.2 per cent)
  2. How would you describe the general culture of the company and the workplace? (51.3 per cent)
  3. What are the team like that I will be working with? (36.8 per cent)
  4. When can I start? (24.2 per cent)
  5. How do you measure success? (23.3 per cent)

To help new employers in the recruitment process, we’ve put together a three-part guide to recruiting your first member of staff


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Carly Hacon is a reporter for Business Advice. She has a BA in journalism from Kingston University, and has previously worked as a features editor for a local newspaper.

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