Official: one in three job applicants tells lies on their CV (is that all?)

One in three adults lies on their CV when applying for a job, according to research published today. The figure emerges from a survey of about 1,300 adults carried out by the the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors (CIEA), which represents exam markers and assessors. The most common exaggeration is thought to be lying about degree classifications, for example turning a 2:1 into a first.

Other common ways of cheating include inventing results from exams people have never taken and boasting about work experience they have never had. One person claimed to have a degree from Oxford University when they had in fact been to Oxford Brookes.

However, lies can include sins of omission, like the chief executive of a local authority who allegedly failed to mention she had suffered from clinical depression and then took 18 months off from her new job for it. Another chief executive, of a local authority in East Anglia, also allegedly lied about his qualifications. Both are now facing court action. The most famous case recently is that of Lee McQueen, winner of the BBC’s The Apprentice show last year, who claimed he had spent two years at Thames Valley University when he had just lasted four-and-a-half months.

The CIEA said it had been “shocked” by the extent of lying and embellishment it had uncovered in its survey. Graham Herbert, deputy head of the CIEA, said: “It was a bit of a shock. Some of the consequences of this can be dire. For instance, you could end up in court or it could ruin your career.”

The survey revealed that more than half (55 per cent) felt their CVs were not an accurate reflection of their capabilities – concentrating as they did on exam success and past achievement.

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