Have you ever exaggerated the truth relating to your career history on your CV when applying for a job? If so, you are not alone. Over half of all the confirmed frauds recorded to the CIFAS Internal Fraud Database are for that very thing, Employment Application Fraud, which covers serious fraudulent declarations about employment history, qualifications, criminal records etc.

It has to be said however, that during the hard economic times of late, using more than a little ‘poetic license’ to enhance your online job history on sites such as LinkedIn, not to mention your CV, is tempting indeed. You could even argue that this underhand approach was positively endorsed by Sir Alan Sugar, who offered the 2008 apprentice crown to Lee McQueen, even after catching him red handed lying on his CV.

Think before promoting yourself to the world of social media

But should you think carefully before creating an online persona that even you don’t recognise? Indeed you must, because whilst it may boost your credentials in your chosen field, it may also bring with it unwanted attention from previous employers who have full access to your online profile. It is also important to be aware that each industry is incestuous, and people talk, so nudging up those three months that you spent working in sales, to suddenly having been, ‘an integral part of the companies management team for 10 years’ may leave you with more than a little egg on your face in the long run.

It can also bring with it serious consequences such as dismissal when discovered, because lets be honest, if you have to embellish the truth to that degree, are you really suitable for the job? If the answer is no, then an employer will not only be concerned that a candidate is less than honourable on the honesty front, but there is also the concern of an individual causing financial damage to the organisation with consequences that could harm its reputation and also create regulatory trouble.

However, there are degrees of course. If a candidate has interviewed well for a position, and their previous 2 jobs references were excellent which led you to offer them the job in which they are now performing well – how relevant is it that they missed off a job on their CV from 10 years ago that did not work out? Because lets be honest, most of us have had a bad experience at some point in our career, should we have to pay for it moving forward? And could it be said that you never really know someone until you work with them regardless of any checks that you make?

So do people get away with it?

The fact of the matter is that yes, people do get away with embellishing the truth on their online business profiles, and this is mainly because outside certain sectors such as education & health and social care where security clearance is required, most companies will only reference the candidates previous two jobs. Recruitment software has also evolved with most agencies having some sort of parsing which automatically updates and often replaces a candidates CV on a recruitment CRM system, meaning that older jobs simply disappear. What this does, is gives the candidate carte blanche to change their previous career history to suit. Of course, your career history will never actually disappear, and should a company wish to search back further on a candidate, then they can be proactive with their own checks; requesting more references and asking for P60’s etc.


However fierce the competition may be for the job and however great the temptation is to exaggerate you career history, be aware that whilst there is every chance that you will get away with it, there is also a good chance that you wont. And if you don’t, you could find that the damage to your reputation within an industry will be detrimental to other positions that you apply for in the future. However, as afore mentioned, it is all about degrees, and you can be forgiven for missing off that particularly dreary office job that didn’t bring out the best in you in 1995.

RE Group have been helping people find the right jobs and employers find the right people, for over 10 years. With 5 specialist recruitment divisions, Onsite staffing operations and a dedicated Training company, re resource group has much to offer employers and candidates alike. Candidates are our lifeblood and if you are looking for temporary, permanent interim or contracted work we would like to hear from you, as we support a variety of employment methods.