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Job seekers and inaccuracies on their CV's. Is it a time bomb waiting to explode?

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  • Job seekers and inaccuracies on their CV's. Is it a time bomb waiting to explode?

    The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has conservatively estimated that 25 per cent of job seekers have inaccuracies on their curriculum vitae! (Source: https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/ly...003603954.html).

    Another report in 2017 found (Source: https://checkpoint.cvcheck.com/false...nt-themselves/) that 85% of employers have caught candidates lying on their resumes. This is up from 66% in 2012. In particular what stood out was: 1. Lying about accomplishments and roles, 2. Photoshopping false certifications, and 3. Failing to disclose incidents in their past.

    What are your thoughts on this? Are these statistics correct? Could you be losing out on getting the job of your dreams when others seem to be cheating on a widespread scale? How widespread are fake credentials, exaggerations and fabrications in resumes? Any examples of news stories and feedback would be very interesting. I am myself working in HR and would be very interested to hear your thoughts on this topic which directly affect all government and business entities who are recruiting for or managing staff.
    Last edited by stan; 05-31-2020, 03:39 PM.

  • #2
    Shortlisting applicants based on resumes can prove to be challenging given this trend of faking entries in one's CV or resume, especially when even references are fake. I haven't had the experience of interviewing or hiring applicants with fake resumes only because our department hires internal employees applying for a promotion. So often, we would shortlist based on their performance with their current post.

    I have stopped working in the corporate world 5 years ago, and I still get calls from previous direct reports who would ask if it's okay that they put me as reference. The problem with this is, I have handled about 100 direct reports from 2011-2015 and I do not really remember how they performed. Plus, their performance for the past 5 years may have been very different from the time I worked with them. I would decline, and would often suggest that they add a reference that they have worked with recently.

    Maybe, it would be safer to require references with whom the applicant has worked with recently and who can be contacted using the company's contact details. You can validate the contact information online to also ensure accuracy and existence of company.
    Last edited by kdy; 05-30-2020, 09:43 PM.

    Comment


    • Bjun
      Bjun commented
      Editing a comment
      I agree. I remember I was still in contact with the people I put as reference in my resume. I also told asked their permission before listing them as reference and gave them a heads-up that someone might contact them about a job I'm applying for. This was also to make sure there would be no awkward surprises and they would answer calls even from unknown numbers.

  • #3
    Here's a survey from March 2020 about how many people lie on their resume: https://www.theladders.com/career-ad...-their-resumes

    Surprisingly, 80% of those who lied didn't get caught or had to face any consequences. This kinda debunked the idea that employers do a thorough background/fact check before hiring someone. It might look encouraging to job seekers who are tempted to lie on their CV's however, keep in mind that lying about your skills or educational background can severely damage your reputation even before you start working.

    Comment


    • #4
      This is quite unsettling and atrocious to think about. I think the lack of action and motivation to provide regulations and consequences to the dishonesty of employees and applicants is dangerously impacting on a wider scale. It's a breeding ground for demagoguery over meritocracy. In this case, lying in the CV is just a micro-application of lying oneself up a particular hierarchy, be it in politics, management, employment, the job market, and many more situations. We can assume then, that failing at a micro-application of meritocracy over demagoguery means we're probably failing on the bigger levels of these.

      A framework or equation cannot stand and remain stable if its variables are dishonest, as an analogical example. Think of it as a house of cards, wherein, the higher cards, when the collapse for whatever reason, will weaken the house and eventually lead to the whole structure collapsing. This isn't an exaggeration, considering that a micro-application of honesty and meritocratic approaches when it comes to roles that require crucial skills spells progress or chaos in any setting -- political, societal, medical, socioeconomical -- anything that relies on a hierarchy to be effective and efficient.

      Lying in the CV is not so different from charming oneself up to a crucial role in politics by pretending to be the variable asked for when in fact, you're not. It's disastrous to mindlessly place a particular card on a higher part of the hierarchy without determining its actual, honest value. The higher the fraud goes in that house of cards, the more cataclysmic its events.

      Take for example (I mean, look at where this enablement of fraud and lack of meritocracy has brought us), the current shaky, if not, exacerbating reactions of global leaders to the pandemic. All the lives it cost just because, they'd rather rely on personal interests than actually listen to the scientists and the experts in the field. It's just like how most disaster movies start, I think -- allow the people that aren't qualified to make the big decisions (we could care less how they got that high), and don't listen to the people that know the best way though it, even vilify them. It's not so surprising how messy things have become, and how good leadership stood out internationally as a result.

      If there are no motions with CV honesty as an application of honest, meritocratic discipline, it's unlikely we'd be able to prevent the bigger frauds the pandemic has revealed.

      Comment


      • Bjun
        Bjun commented
        Editing a comment
        As Warren Buffett said, "In looking for people to hire, look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. And if they don't have the first, the other two will kill you."

        Lying on one's CV already shows a lack of integrity and to be honest, I don't link integrity with politics. Politicians will say anything to get elected and I've always thought they are after their own gains rather than what's good for the people. Also, employers seem to have higher standards when hiring employees than the public has when voting for people in office. If you expect integrity from politicians, you'll just end up being disappointed.

    • #5
      "Catch Me If You Can" sounds off the call for 'capable' individuals who unfortunately will not be hired only because they do not have the cv lines to back up their abilities. Recruiters will continue to assess 'fit' against a few pages of history while you simply needed that 'break' to show just how capable and quick-to-learn you are...really.

      Then of course there are those who embellish, fib, hedge and/or fudge their work history in the hopes that the AI picks up from the fluff rather than the facts. There is no crime with 'propping' the cv. Even unfounded accomplishments and rehashed titles, tasks, and responsibilities properly worded will not bring you jail time nor fines. You will likely be burning bridges before these are built with the lost credibility. Then again is there really harm if the fib brings you across the threshold for the next level interview?

      Of course it IS an entirely different story signing a contract backed by hot air and disappearing ink. Disaster is definitely just a few days out.

      Comment


      • Bjun
        Bjun commented
        Editing a comment
        Are you saying you're ok with a little white lie on your CV as long as it gets you to the next level?

    • #6
      Efforts and experience gets you hired. Not all job descriptions will present those efforts and experiences in their proper context let alone difficulty level! Is it lying if you simply highlight and hyperbole your achievements? If the company that I want to join decides to take me because I was able to emphasize the efforts I put in to create value, then I will have been hired for my value-creation..including how beautifully I described my accomplishments.

      Comment


      • kdy
        kdy commented
        Editing a comment
        Yap GladysMae .

        Funny, I actually went through my last updated resume to check. hahaha I wanted to make sure.

      • Bjun
        Bjun commented
        Editing a comment
        Highlighting your achievement is not lying. Exaggerating it is a different story. When you say "hyperbole, you meant exaggerated your achievements or you claim something that is not meant to be taken literally. This is lying on your resume. You are setting an expectation on future employers on skills that you may or may not have.

      • Skye
        Skye commented
        Editing a comment
        JerryYan, if you highlight your achievements, it is not lying. But if you hyperbole them, that is lying.

        If the company you wanna join hires you based on a hyperbole'd CV, I wish that company good luck. Not because you may not be able to perform. But because of integrity issues.

        One lie leads to another lie.

        If one's achievement is really of value, there is no need for such "value-creation" and overly beautiful description of accomplishments. Unless, of course, one is hiding something or really just creating something from scratch.

        Again, highlighting achievements is good. It is expected.

        But a person hyperbole'ing his or her achievements is as evil as the Devil himself.

    • #7
      Crazy how there is a rampant increase in the rate of the people lying in their CVs year by year. It is already a well-known practice and hiring managers are already aware of this. Some may get through with this action without having any problem but once caught, there are numbers of consequences that they may face. As indicated in stan's shared link, it could be a crime of fraud or forgery. Also, it can bring long term effect to your career and may damage your reputation as what is written in this article (https://www.investopedia.com/financi...n-trouble.aspx).

      It takes so much effort lying in resumes. You lie about the lie which makes it an even bigger one and it would require you to remember all that you have said instead of just recalling your experience if you indicated the truth in your resume. It would all get back to you when you're hired and was tasked to do something that you've hyped up in your resume. They would know that you've lied about this if you are not able to perform well.

      Comment


      • #8
        Its foolish to lie on your resume now that our technology for background checking is more advanced. If you can lie about your education and work experience, hiring managers can assume that you will lie at work; like the status of a project, or the the company's expense account, even your sick days. A good work relationship is built on trust, and hiring managers do not hire people they simply can not trust.

        I found stories of people who got caught lying on resumes. Some are really bizarre like a 23-year-old with 15 years working experience. Surprisingly, even top executives did it and cost them their jobs. Here's a list of successful executives who got caught. https://www.businessinsider.com/succ...resumes-2015-7 Also, anyone heard of Veronica Hilda Theriault? She submitted a resume with false information relating to her education and prior employment to get the job as Chief Information Officer at PDC. She is now facing jail time for deception, dishonesty, and abuse of public office. https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/04/a...cli/index.html

        The risk of lying on your resume aren't worth the potential reward. It's a risk not worth taking. Honesty will always be a much better choice.

        Comment


        • Skye
          Skye commented
          Editing a comment
          Honesty is the best policy. When you lie, they pile up. Until you get tangled up in them and get caught.

          About Theriault, it was not just lying on her CV. She also impersonated one of her "references." When she got caught, it was not the first time she lied on her CV.

          There is a masterplan. And you have to weave a web of lies to support your initial lie. So when the web is big, people notice and question, then the unravelling begins.

      • #9
        Oddly, now that I think of it, and I realized this while I was washing dishes -- lying in the CV is comparable to the old school habit of courtship. Considering that perhaps most of us have been in one relationship or more, I think the effects of overstating your merits and understating your demerits can also be observed in the dating scene or the culture of romance.

        It has a lot to do with always putting the best foot forward, hiding its flaws and imperfections, simply to find a mate in the ocean of possibilities. As the relationship progresses, the standard is set on a "best foot" basis, then things get more and more tiring to maintain due to the bar being set high pretentiously. This often happens online as well, thus the term, catfishing.

        Bottom line is, it is generally encouraged these days, even in the dating scene to avoid putting the best foot forward, or hiding your flaws, because expectations destroy relationships as does pretentiousness. Social media kind of adds to this because it allows stylized personas over realistic views.

        Sadly, even if heartbreaks are generally more painful, lying in your CV and overstating your worth pathologically causes societal damages, especially if you're applying for higher positions.

        Comment


        • #10
          In my opinion, those lying on resumes or photoshopping diplomas are committing outright fraud. I was reading in the news how job applicants have been using fake / made up qualifications to obtain jobs at the highest level of government. Have a read about it in this article https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-...nquiry/8987352.

          It has also lead to the arrests of those caught lying in resumes and job applications https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-...rvants/8975566.

          It seems to be a very brazen practice that some job applicants are engaging in. One positive thing that has come out of this is that the recruiting process and practices are being tightened to avoid this happening again.
          Last edited by sammie83; 06-03-2020, 05:48 AM.

          Comment


          • Skye
            Skye commented
            Editing a comment
            Why, @Lou?

            Because of a lot of reasons. They may be insecure - have to make up something they do not have, or exaggerate what little they have so that they can be hired. Some may just want to try if they can get away with it. Others are desperate to be noticed. Some are just pathological liars. Some have inflated egos and they actually believe the lies, exaggerations and omissions they made on their CV. These are just some.

            Unfortunately, these people do get hired. They are so good at making themselves look good in paper. But their character will always be revealed once at work.

          • Kamille
            Kamille commented
            Editing a comment
            I agree Skye. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Its no wonder people resort to lying as its the easiest way to get ahead of everyone without pulling too much work. A lot of people get away with it. They've been lying for so long they have already convinced themselves they're telling the truth during interviews and job applications, so they do it over and over. As a result, others are encouraged to do the same. They think they won until they're given a task they have no idea how to even start.
            I can just imagine the stress of constantly looking over your shoulder cause you're too afraid that the lies are finally catching up with you.

          • Skye
            Skye commented
            Editing a comment
            Yeah, they will always be looking over their shoulder, Kamille. It must be tiring.

            But imagine someone who actually believes the lies they made. That would be something scary.

        • #11
          A celebrity financial adviser has been charged with a number of counts of being dishonest. He falsely claimed that he held a Master of Commerce degree when he did not hold such a degree.

          He was a financial adviser in a regulated area of financial advising and the regulator found that he did not act in the best interest of clients by misleading his clients about his educational qualification. The thing is he did not even need the Master's degree, but by falsely stating that he held one, it is being alleged by the regulator in court that his behaviour was misleading.

          You can read more about it at https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/former-celebrity-financial-adviser-charged-with-dishonest-conduct-20200610-p551d8.html

          Comment


          • Bjun
            Bjun commented
            Editing a comment
            Wow! That's big and such a surprise the company didn't do a background check to verify the qualifications he provided. I wonder if companies will be held accountable for not fact-checking before employing someone, especially for cases like these where clients are affected.
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