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CVs littered with lies and exaggerations

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A new study conducted by a company specialising in professional transcription and translation services has revealed that as many as one in six Britons have previously lied or exaggerated the truth regarding foreign language skills on their CV.

Furthermore, 28 percent of these respondents believe their dishonesty is the reason they secured their current job role.With the job market becoming an increasingly tougher environment, a company specialising in professional translation and transcription services has revealed that many Britons are not being completely truthful when highlighting their language capabilities on their CV; with one in six respondents polled admitting that they have previously lied to recruiters and potential employers about the foreign language skills they hold.The study, conducted by, polled a total of 1,932 UK adults who had actively looked for a job within the last 18 months.  Of those polled, 26 percent were University graduates, whilst a further 48 percent had successfully completed A-levels or equivalent qualifications.

Participants were firstly asked if they had ever lied or exaggerated the truth on their CV. 63 percent admitted that they had done so, with 16 percent of respondents specifically stating that they had incorrectly claimed to potential employers that they could converse in a foreign language; which they had either limited or no ability to speak.Other common lies respondents admitted that they had added to their CVs, in order to impress employers, included the range of computer skills  they were able to use such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint (27 percent), the fact they regularly participated in unusual or impressive hobbies (21 percent), and their GCSE/A-level grades (12 percent).When questioned further, the 16 percent of the respondents who had lied about their foreign language abilities had almost all applied for jobs where they were sure that their exaggerated language skills would not be needed, with 88 percent explaining that this was the case.  The languages most commonly fibbed about were French (46 percent), German (35 percent), Spanish (22 percent) and Italian (15 percent).

Of the relevant participants who lied about being bilingual, 28 percent believed that their false claims were the reason that they had secured their current employment. However, 41 percent, of the fibbing respondents claimed to have since correctly amended their CVs after their dishonesty was 'uncovered by an employer'. Richard Michie, Marketing and Technology Director at Global Lingo, made the following comments regarding the results of the study: “Although the team here would never condone dishonesty on a CV, the indication that over a quarter of those who lied about being bilingual believe they wouldn't have been offered their job otherwise just goes to highlight the importance that employers put on languages when recruiting for new positions. Perhaps those who admit to fibbing should put as much effort into learning a new language as they do their CV- that way, they won't have to worry about their lies being caught out!”


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