New Survey Data Shows the Risks Involved from Lying on your CV

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The increasing competition in the job market has made it challenging for everyone to find the ideal job, particularly in the pandemic’s wake. However, it has been equally challenging for recruiters to find the ideal employee. Why is that so? A UK survey reveals it all.

According to a recent survey by StaffCircle, nearly 32% of respondents admitted to lying on their CVs, and 93% stated that they weren’t caught. To avoid hiring a person who has lied, HR departments and recruiters often review applications for lies.

Lying could mark you as a “may not hire” candidate. The repercussions of being employed and caught can be severe, costing you your job, reputation, and sometimes even legal action. Additionally, 45% of respondents said they would have gotten the job even if they hadn’t lied.

Risks of Lying on Your CV

Lies can spread ‌easily and can make or break your career. If you make a false statement on your CV, you must continue to make that statement whenever someone inquires about it. You could be caught at any point doing this, which can be troublesome and involves its own risks.

There are three types of lying on a CV: outright lies, lies by omission, and embellishments.

A false statement is a lie of commission. Lies of the commission include declaring you attended Harvard when you didn’t, saying you have a master’s degree when you don’t, and claiming you can code when you can’t.

Lies of omission are more like partial truths than outright lies. You make your assertion false by leaving out some of the truth. For instance, if you mention ‌you attended Harvard University, and you actually did, but didn’t get a degree is a partial truth.

Finally, overstating your qualifications or achievements on your CV makes up for embellishment. It’s one of the most common types of lie people tell on their CVs.

Legal Consequences

Even though a CV is not a legal contract, many applications feature a section where you can sign or check to confirm that the information you provided is accurate. Most countries have employment-at-will legislation in place, so it doesn’t matter if you never ticked the box, certifying that everything on your application was true. In other words, your employment is subject to termination by your employer at any moment and for any cause.

Finally, based on what you lied about; it is conceivable—though unlikely—that you could be charged with an offence. According to your lies, you might face charges of fraud. This was the case for someone in Australia who received a jail term for at least one year for lying on their CV as they tried to land to prestige job with a lucrative salary within the Australian government.

Reputation damage

In the end, lying on your CV and then during the hiring process may make up for fraud. Even if it isn’t, the morality of it is debatable. The employee will be exposed, and once they are, their reputation will never be the same.

This could have disastrous effects, especially given the industry you work in. As a result of spreading false information and being impatient, you will not only harm your career now but also forfeit your chance to ever land the position you truly desired.


Employers should always be on the lookout for red flags that an employee is lying on their CV. Some of these include embellishing qualifications, omitting employment gaps, providing false contact information, and using unprofessional email addresses.

Lying on a CV can have significant legal consequences and may even lead to jail time. It can also damage your reputation, making it hard to find future employment.