December 13th, 2016 | Sterling

Tips to Uncover Fake CVs

Magnifying glass in front of files

Your CV is the first-step to getting a new job. It’s how potential employers “see” you (similar to your first impression) and your qualifications until you meet in person. Job hunters use a variety of CV types and styles to sell themselves and their past work. However, it has been found that a CV doesn’t always tell the truth about a candidate’s job or educational experience. With an increasingly competitive job market, applicants are searching for ways to compete with each other and one of the more common ways is by giving their CV a makeover (oftentimes through padding, embellishing, exaggerating, stretching the truth or downright lying). In fact, 53% of résumés and job applications contain falsifications and 70% of college students surveyed said they would lie on their CV to get the job they wanted. In fact, the Financial Times found that academic background information is the most misrepresented on CVs, “fabricated MBAs and other fake accomplishments have become increasingly widespread as more industries seek such qualifications for their senior appointments.”

CV Fabrications

While a CV might look great on the surface, it might not always be as accurate as you’d think. These lies can be minor embellishments to complete fabrications on qualifications and experience. Job seekers could extend employment dates to cover up being out of work for an extended amount of time, fabricate academic degrees or claim higher marks to look better to the reader. Some common CV lies found by employers include:

  • Exaggerated job titles and responsibilities
  • Falsification of education credentials
  • Covering up criminal records
  • Inflated salaries
  • Misrepresentation of dates of employment
  • Falsification of professional license
  • Erroneous claims of financial responsibility or asset management

Benefits of Employment Verification

Background checks bring to light the truth about candidates, good or bad, and help employers make educated hiring decisions. Employment and educational verification, reference checks and credit checks are all parts of a background screening programme that can be used by a company in order to verify information on an application or a CV.

  • Credit EnquiriesCredit enquiries can reveal a history of missed payments, bad debt write-offs, collections or fraudulent banking as well as providing insight into whether or not your applicant can responsibly manage a company’s assets.
  • Employment VerificationEmployment verifications authenticate job titles, dates of employment, confirmation of salary, reason for leaving and eligibility for rehire. The employment verification uncovers any exaggerated employment claims such as inflated titles or incorrect dates that may be covering up a termination.
  • Educational VerificationEducational verifications authenticate a candidate’s academic history, industry qualifications and professional membership claims directly with school registrars and administration offices. This check can also determine if a degree is valid or purchased via a diploma mill.
  • Reference ChecksReference Checks are a critical step in the hiring process. Reliable, thorough and independent reference checks can provide detailed information about a candidate including verifying CV facts and the candidate’s performance.
  • Criminal Background Check – A criminal records check is a crucial step in a comprehensive employee screening programme. There are three levels of criminal record checks available in the UK: a Basic Disclosure, a Standard Disclosure and an Enhanced Disclosure.

Due Diligence When Hiring

Hiring an employee requires a lot of time and money, so it is important to perform due diligence with employment and education verifications. Taking the time to verify a CV will give you peace of mind that you are hiring the best candidate with “real” qualifications for the position. Selecting the wrong applicant based on falsified experience or credentials can be a costly mistake and result in poor performance, low employee morale, reduced productivity, negligence lawsuits and bad PR for the company. Learn more about the importance of finding fake CVs to avoid hiring mistakes by downloading our white paper, How to Avoid a Bad Hire.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.