MorePeople | Would you lie on your CV to secure your dream job?

Blog article

Would you lie on your CV to secure your dream job?

Have you ever told a little white lie or even a huge whopper on your CV? If so, you're far from alone, as a study by APPII has found that 43 per cent of UK employees have lied on their CV in order to stand out from other applicants.

Interestingly, men were found to be more likely to be dishonest on a CV, or at least admit to not telling the truth. Some 48 per cent of men admitted they have lied or exaggerated when applying for a job, compared with just 35 per cent of women.

Figures also showed that people aged 45 or above are especially likely to lie, with 61 per cent of employees in this age group saying they have lied on a CV. By contrast, just 25 per cent of millennials said the same.

This could be partly down to the fact that younger applicants seem to be more conscious of the fact that employers seek to verify much of the information they are given.

Indeed, 59 per cent of millennials said they know employers check the validity of CVs throughout the recruitment process, compared with just 20 per cent of over-45s being aware of the situation.

Since many millennials will have grown up leaving an online footprint all over LinkedIn, Twitter and countless other social networks and websites, this makes sense. 

But while many clearly recognise that it's incredibly easy for employers to find out if an applicant is telling the truth, it's apparent that lying on CVs is still a widespread issue.

What are applicants lying about?

A separate study by HR and payroll solutions specialist NGA Human Resources has identified the most common exaggerations among job applicants - and the findings make interesting reading.

Nearly half admitted to lying about their skills, while a similar proportion said they have been dishonest about their interests.

But curiously, many are embellishing facts that are easily verifiable. For instance, 33 per cent said they have exaggerated their career history, while 24 per cent have lied about their school qualifications and 19 per cent have been dishonest about their professional qualifications.

It's bizarre, as the same study shows that nearly eight in ten candidates know this information will be checked, as much of this data will be easily available in places such as their LinkedIn profiles.

Further research by CV-Library found a number of other areas that people would be willing to lie about in order to get a job. 

For example, 31.4 per cent said they'd be prepared to lie about their dates of employment, while 27.1 per cent were happy to be dishonest about any gaps in their CV.

More than a fifth also admitted they'd lie about their current salary, in the belief that this could help them secure a higher rate of pay.

Thankfully, more than nine in ten workers agree it's wrong to lie on a CV, but with so many apparently getting away with it, it seems lots of employees are happy to live with a guilty conscience.

Furthermore, nearly seven in ten said they are forced to tell the odd fib in their application as employers are expecting too much of them.

So whose fault is it? Are job applicants justified in embellishing the truth so they can appear more experienced or qualified, or in order to pressure an employer into offering them a higher salary?

Or are employers right to set high standards in order to attract the very best candidates for the vacancies they have available?

Lee Biggins of CV-Library is in the latter camp, saying that employers shouldn't be afraid to push their candidates to reveal more.

"It may be that they’re actually a great fit for the business, but felt they needed to lie to look better," he said.

Gary McKay, managing director of APPII, meanwhile, believes that the fact people are lying shows that traditional CVs don't work for either candidates or employers.

"The fact that so many are having to resort to exaggerating truths when applying for new jobs just to try and stand out is proof that processes within recruitment can be enhanced," he said.

"Establishing trust at the start of the recruitment process would help to rectify this."

Obviously, any changes along these lines won't be happening overnight. In the meantime, it's up to employees to look to bolster their CVs so they don't need to be dishonest, as being found out for lying could ultimately ruin your chances of securing your dream job.

If you're interested in pursuing a career in the Fresh Food, Fresh Produce, Horticulture, Agriculture and Garden & Leisure sectors but could do with a little advice, feel free to email us on or call 01780 480530 and have a chat about your CV and career with one of our sector specialists.