Education, Education, Education: Schooling Claims Overtake Employment as Top CV ‘Lie’

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  • Two in five job applications contain false information about educational achievements.
  • Latest HireRight Candidate Health Check reveals more than half of CVs contain one or more errors.
  • Almost one-third of applications now contain false professional qualifications and membership claims.

Jobseekers are more likely to include inaccurate details about their education history than any other aspect of their background, according to research by HireRight, Ltd., a leading global candidate due diligence company.

Almost two-fifths (37 per cent) of applications feature an incorrect grade, qualification, institution, course or date – a jump of a third (36 per cent) when compared to the same period last year.

HireRight infographic

The gap between education and employment is at its widest since records began in 2011 but HireRight’s latest Candidate Health Check1 reveals employers still need to check claims about work history as one-third (33 per cent) of candidates provide incorrect information in this area.

The number of overall errors on CVs remains consistent according to HireRight’s latest quarterly Candidate Health Check, with more than half (54 per cent) found to contain an inaccuracy in the first three months of 2014.

Steve Girdler, managing director of EMEA, HireRight, comments: “Employment and education are consistently the areas where we see the most inaccuracies on job applications. With more people staying in work for longer, complacency can be common. The belief is that employers won’t check information that’s been provided, especially if the individual qualified some time ago.

“Employers need to ensure they check the claims of all candidates in order to help ensure they are taking on the very best candidates for the role.”

Fastest Riser: Professional Qualifications and Memberships

HireRight’s latest Candidate Health Check shows more than a quarter (28 per cent) of job candidates are providing inaccurate information about their professional qualifications and memberships. This is the area on CVs where the level of errors is rising the fastest – quicker than ID documents, employment or education.

Steve Girdler, adds: “It’s all too easy to fabricate industry recognised qualifications and memberships, such as those awarded in the legal and accountancy industry.

“If companies fail to check these claims, they risk employing people who are not in fact chartered and go on to provide ill-advised consultancy. This can have legal consequences, lead to lost revenue and clients, and seriously damage reputation.”


1 HireRight’s quarterly Candidate Health Check research is based on the analysis of data from EMEA candidate due diligence programmes, with this quarter’s findings based on 35,000 checks of almost 10,000 applications from 1,800 organisations between January to March 2014.



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