The pressure to stand out in a sea of applicants may tempt job seekers to be less than honest on their CVs, but is it worth the risk? Seventy-one per cent of hiring managers said they’ve caught a lie on a CV and  more than a third (39 per cent) of these employers have seen instances of CV embellishment increase post-recession.

Two in five employers (41 per cent) said that they would automatically dismiss a candidate if they caught a lie on his/her CV, while 52 per cent said that it would depend on what the candidate lied about. Six per cent said they’d be willing to overlook a lie if they liked the candidate.

“Trust is very important in professional relationships, and by lying on your CV, you breach that trust from the very outset,” said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. “If you want to enhance your CV it is better to focus on highlighting tangible examples from your actual experience. Your CV doesn’t necessarily have to be the perfect fit for an organisation, but it needs to be relevant and most importantly accurate.”

Most Common CV Lies

There are certain fabrications job seekers may try to slip past employers more frequently than others. According to employers, the most common lies they catch on CVs relate to:

  1. Embellished skill set – 57 per cent
  2. Embellished responsibilities – 57 per cent
  3. Dates of employment – 40 per cent
  4. Job title – 36 per cent
  5. Companies worked for – 32 per cent
  6. Academic degree – 27 per cent
  7. Awards/recognitions – 15 per cent

The Review Process

Employers may now be taking more time to look over individual CVs, with half of employers (51 per cent) saying they spent more than two minutes reviewing each CV. However, 25 per cent of employers spent less than 60 seconds and twelve per cent said they spent 30 seconds or less on each CV.