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Over half of UK adults admit to lying on their CV

New Survey reveals 51% of UK adults lie on CVs.

As the job market starts settling down, and more businesses start hiring, many are taking to refreshing CVs and checking job sites for new opportunities. New research* has revealed that a surprisingly high number of UK adults lie on their CVs even when applying for senior-level roles.

When asked if they have lied on their CV, 51% of UK adults said yes. Interestingly, men were more likely to lie than women with 61% of men admitting to including false information, compared with 43% of women. Millennials are also more likely to lie than any other age, with 59% of respondents aged 25-44 saying that this is the case.

The Top CV Lies

  1. Exaggerating previous responsibilities                 41%
  2. Lying about hobbies/interests                                34%
  3. Falsely increased GCSE grades                               27%
  4. Falsely increased A-Level grades                           20%
  5. Falsely increased University Qualification            8%
  6. Lied about having GCSEs/A levels/Degree            5%
  7. Stated I am younger than I really am                      5%
  8. Stated I am older than I really am                           4%
  9. Lied about having a Masters Degree                       3%

When asked what false information they have included on a CV, the top answer was ‘exaggerating previous responsibilities’. This may be okay if you’re just telling white lies about your excel capabilities, but pretending to know a key skill such as a second language or specific training could get you into very hot water once you start the role.

Interestingly, the second most popular lie was about hobbies and interests. While many might see this section of the CV as relatively unimportant, and can tell you a little about a candidate’s character. Binge-watching Netflix and ordering pizza may be most people’s ideal Friday night – but it doesn’t make you sound very professional or hard-working.

27% of respondents admitted that they lied about their GCSEs, which may not be a big deal for some employers. However, 1 in 5 lied about their A-Level results, and 8% even lied about their university degree. For roles that require certain qualifications, this can be a really risky move as you can easily end up in over your head.

When asked what roles they were applying for with false CV information, the majority said it was entry-level positions, however, a shockingly high number of respondents admitted that they had lied when applying for management and director positions.

What Level of Role Did You Apply For With False Information?

  1. Entry Level                      44%
  2. Management Level        40%
  3. Senior Management      20%
  4. Director                            5%
  5. C-Suite                              2%

Men were more likely to apply for Director and C-Suite level roles with a false CV, with 9% of men admitting to this, compared with just 4% of women.

A spokesperson for CareCheck said in response to the research, “All of us have told a few white lies when trying to get hired, but usually once you have your foot firmly on the rung of the career ladder you can remove those extra flourishes and let your real experience speak for itself.

“It’s a little worrying that people are applying for higher-level positions without being truthful about their qualifications or experience, as this can easily lead to badly managed teams and businesses.

“Rather than over-facing yourself with a role you may not be fully qualified for, it may be smarter to look at what fibs you are telling and put plans into action to make them come true.

“If you’re missing out on opportunities as you lack certain skills, see if you can gain a qualification while you’re working so that the next job you apply for will be 100% manageable.”

*Research from CareCheck

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