Half of Brits are lying on the job application – but why?

New research finds that more than half of UK employees have admitted to lying or withholding information on a job application or CV.

Jobseekers are spinning some far-fetched fibs when it comes to bagging the perfect position, new research shows.

More than half (55 per cent) of UK employees admitted to lying or withholding important information when filling out a job application or CV.

A quarter of Brits even named a friend – rather than a boss – as a referee when applying for a job, for fear of what might be revealed about them in their previous post.

The data, compiled by Printerland which looked into how honest UK workers are about their employment past, revealed that women are more likely to bend the truth on applications than their male colleagues. However, more men embellish their current salary.

When it comes to why we lie, 23 per cent confess doing it to obtain a higher salary and therefore, claw in more cash.

But it seems that the truth usually comes to light, as 32 per cent of liars got caught out after bagging the job. Of that 32 per cent, just less than half were made to take additional training to bring their skills up to scratch, a shocking one in three were forced to take a pay cut, while the same number were fired.

However, 12 per cent got away with telling porkies, even after they were bang to rights.

The poll also reveals the average British worker has had five jobs since leaving full time education, while 15 per cent struggle to find their perfect position, having been employed in over 10 jobs.

Only five per cent of UK employees have stayed in the same position since they left school, and just 34 per cent managed to stay in a company for more than two years before finding a new job.

On the other side of the fence, 61 per cent in charge of hiring or recruitment, said they’d previously suspected a candidate of exaggerating on an application.

In response, three quarters of those grilled the candidate for further details about their CV, while seven per cent simply binned the application.

Some of the long truths encountered by recruiters include a candidate claiming they spent a period being self-employed, when background checks revealed they were actually behind bars.

Another contender detailed their major responsibility of running a nursery in a school on their CV, but were flummoxed when the hiring manager quizzed them over its existence.

Catherine Bannan, HR manager from Printerland.co.uk, comments, ‘While we know that some people embellish their previous experience on a CV, it’s shocking to see just how many people lie, and to what degree.

‘It’s understandable that a candidate might do all they can to land their dream job, however, as our survey shows, there is a real chance you could get caught out, which can lead to a dismissal.

‘It’s always best to be honest on job applications, and if you feel you aren’t good enough for a position, you could try asking the company for training tips to improve your offering.’

Further reading on job application

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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