You’re Fired!

You're Fired

We’re not the only ones checking up on job applicants. Samsung recently surveyed 2,000 working British adults on their current roles and their career plans for 2015, and came up with a list of the ten most common lies found on CVs in the UK.

Former Apprentice mentor Nick Hewer, who is an ambassador for Samsung says: “I am not surprised that so many people admit to lying on the CVs – we see the same thing on The Apprentice year in, year out – however it is worth noting that we nearly always find the lies!

I have to say it astounds me that candidates lie in that situation. Surely they must know someone will go digging around? The media surely will, even if the producers don’t. Nevertheless, it’s encouraging words from Nick.

So what makes their top ten? No surprises on the number one slot, although I don’t fancy the chances of Apprentice contestants getting away with number nine.

Top Ten Lies on CVs

1. Exaggerated education grades (31%)

2. Beefing up day-to-day responsibilities (26%)

3. Job title (22%)

4. Personal achievements and rewards (22%)

5. Having a sporty hobby to appear outgoing and ‘rounded’ e.g. sky diving, off road racing (19%)

6. Companies you have worked for (17%)

7. References (using friends who were colleagues and not your manager) (15%)

8. Speaking a language (14%)

9. Covering up being fired from a previous position (10%)

10. Using industry jargon to impress – using industry terms/phrases without fully knowing what they mean (9%)

Isn’t It Ironic?

One of my ongoing frustrations is the lack of prosecutions for degree fraud, despite the fact that it is against the law in the UK and carries a maximum prison term of 10 years.

A new guide for students ‘Don’t Finish Your Career Before it Starts’ has just been distributed to universities and warns of the criminal consequences of white lies or embellishments. As a follow-up we were asked if we had any case studies of successful prosecutions of graduates. Sadly, we don’t.

The cases we know of are individuals who faked their qualifications, so aren’t valid graduates. The one high profile case we’ve covered here is Dennis O’Riordan, the University of East Anglia graduate who was dismissed from the Bar for degree fraud, but he has not been prosecuted to date.

As we know, most degree fraud goes undetected due to the lack of proper checks being made by employers, although every survey confirms that about 1/3 of applicants admit to lying on their CVs.

The prevailing view seems to be that it’s OK to get a little creative with your CV if you can actually do the job. Why should you be discounted because your skills and qualifications are from the University of Life? But not every instance is an honest candidate, just trying to get ahead.

Recently in Manchester,  Wade Jordan was jailed for three years for fraud and perverting the course of justice. Jordan landed an HR role at biotechnology firm, Qiagen’s, Manchester office by claiming he had an MA in Human Resource Management from Manchester Metropolitan University. He went on to swindle almost £50,000 in fraudulent expense claims between 2010 and 2013. A police investigation, launched after the company unearthed his expenses fiddle, found he had no such qualification – something Qiagen could have checked themselves with Manchester Metropolitan University, when they recruited him. 

The fact that Jordan was recruited into an HR role only adds insult to injury, although it could teach Alanis Morrisette a thing or two about irony.