A recent report from First Advantage – a pre-employment screening company – has shown that roughly one-in-four (27.2%) CVs have inaccuracies and roughly one-third (32%) of these have “major” discrepancies – meaning they raise significant cause for concern for an employer.
The report goes on to add that the highest level (35.2%) of inaccuracies was found in candidates’ education history, whilst almost a quarter (23.9%) of candidates’ professional qualifications and memberships uncovered inaccuracies.
Speaking to Recruitment Grapevine, Traci Canning, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of First Advantage in EMEA, says: “Many of the discrepancies we’ve found relate to dates of employment, education and professional achievements, and raise concerns about candidates stretching periods of employment and training to cover periods of inactivity or unsuccessful employment.
“Precisely why candidates’ education and academic qualifications contain the most inaccuracies is unknown and the subject of much debate. It could be that some candidates assume less attention will be paid to their school, college or university achievements than their employment history and professional qualifications, particularly when they have advanced in their careers.”
She added that it is therefore important for employers to verify potential employees’ education and academic qualifications, which almost always underpin any further education and employment experience.
“Honesty really is the best policy – candidates would be better served by accurately stating their skills and experience because any inaccuracies will be uncovered during the screening process.”
Thoughts from BCL Legal:
Candidates who submit inaccurate, misleading or false information run a very high risk of being found out. Many employers and recruitment consultancies now run background checks to verify a candidates education, training and experience, and in the world of Legal this can involve Professional Checks on your practicing certificate.
Omitting important information, amending dates and/or deliberately stating untruths, particularly when dealing with recruitment consultants who may have access to a previous copy of your CV (on their database or online), is a sure fire way to not be considered for a job, interview or job offer. Inaccuracies raise serious questions about your personal integrity and they can imply that other elements of your CV and/or your interview responses are also inaccurate.
Although some inaccuracies can crop up by mistake, due to a typo or CV formatting issue, it is important to consider that employers and recruitment consultants are ever vigilant to discrepancies. To ensure that your CV is considered, and to provide yourself with the best possible opportunity of finding a new job, it is imperative that your CV is accurate and free from mistakes. Periods without work should be explained, not hidden by amending dates, and qualifications should be correct and stated on the CV. Job titles, responsibilities and experience should be factual, and your personal interests should also be correct – getting caught out by a question about Skiing can impact your chances of getting a job just as much as overstating your job profile or falsifying your academic grades: as it raises doubts.
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