Consequences of lying on your CV

Writing a great CV without breaking the law

As hundreds of new graduates look for their first accountancy jobs in Norwich, the UK’s fraud prevention service, CIFAS, has issued a stark warning about the consequences of lying on your CV. “Don’t finish your career before it starts” is a new publication aimed at informing students and graduates about the risks of job application fraud, and dispelling the myth that lying on your CV is harmless.

Graduate job hunting is hugely competitive with many more applicants than available positions, but its important that you’re not tempted to embellish your CV to get ahead of the competition,” explains Tina Maguire of Norwich-based accountancy recruitment specialists, Big Sky Additions.

Incorporating false or exaggerated information on your CV at any stage of your career is against the law, and in some cases can lead to a criminal conviction or even imprisonment.

Ignorance isn’t an excuse if you’re caught out,’ says Simon Dukes, Chief Executive Officer of CIFAS. ‘One young woman whose case features in the publication said she had no idea she had committed a criminal offence after wrongly claiming to have two A-levels and making up false references. She was still jailed for six months.

Mr Dukes stressed that the aim of the leaflet is not to portray young people as fraudsters and liars, but to educate them about the risks of embellishing the truth, as CIFAS research shows that many are simply unaware that job application fraud is even a crime. “We understand that it is a tough job market and that even the most honest graduate may feel a lot of pressure to make his or her CV stand out from the crowd, but it’s better to be straightforward and keep your integrity,” he added.

With competition high for accountancy jobs in Norwich, most companies and employment agencies carry out extensive pre-employment checks: “If you never quite got around to finishing your ACA don’t say that you did – you will be asked for proof of qualification,” warns Tina Maguire.

Tina’s top tips for a truthful CV:

  1. Don’t exaggerate your current salary when applying for jobs – referencing now asks what a person’s current salary is and some candidates have been caught out by over-stating their current package and then seeing their new job offer withdrawn after they’ve resigned from their previous post.
  2. If you have a high sickness rate, be sure to explain the reasons to your prospective employer – an extended period of leave due to a hospital stay for example can look a lot more reasonable than frequent short bouts off work for minor illnesses.
  3. Don’t be tempted to “massage” dates to omit a short period of employment from your CV if the job didn’t work out for example. Be truthful or you will get caught out.

For further advice about compiling your truthful CV please contact Tina today :-

t: 01603 516 280
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