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Do job applicants always tell the truth?

The following post is courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap:

From: Amit Puri is the Managing Consultant at Sandbox Advisors. He has over 10 years of business and HR related experience, with companies such as Bain & Co, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup. Sandbox Advisors is based in Singapore and provides career management and HR consulting services in Asia.

A common concern when hiring a candidate is whether the applicant has told the truth about various aspects of their background. It is not unlikely for applicants to feel that they are more likely to get the job if they distort their age, cover-up gaps in their work history and claim to have educational qualifications they do not actually have.

While there has been relatively little research on the accuracy of applicant information, there is some evidence which can shed light on the facts. A study by a verification service in Minneapolis (U.S.), found that almost 33% of applicants’ academic and employment records were inaccurate. An examination into 111 application forms submitted by people applying for jobs as nurse aids, found that forms were frequently incorrect for previous salary earned (72%) and duration of previous employment (57%). 15% of organisations cited by the applicants as being previous employers, had no record employing them.

In another survey (by Powerchex – a pre-employment screening firm) of 4,000 job applications by graduates in the UK, it was found that graduates with less than a 2.1 GPA face an especially high temptation to hide the mediocrity of their academic achievement because many large employers reject them before even the first-interview stage. Arts and humanities graduates are the most prone to exaggerating achievements. 22% of those who apply for jobs in financial services are guilty of CV ‘discrepancies’. These range from excessively playing up job responsibilities, to more serious falsehoods involving employment histories and university degrees. Math graduates were the most honest about their achievements, with only 6% guilty of CV transgressions.

Implications for organisations: Do not take for granted that information provided by job applicants is always correct and accurate. One way to increase the accuracy of applications might be to include statements such as the following:

All information you provide for the purposes of this application will be checked. Information such as employment and educational history will be verified with the relevant institutions. Be sure to review your application and ensure that it is accurate and complete

Implications for job seekers: More and more employers are realising the need to verify the information you provide. This is especially so during recessionary environments, where the tendency to provide inaccurate information might be higher. Do not hamper your chances of getting a job you might otherwise get by mis-representing yourself.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.


John of Online Resume Builder

"Implications for organisations: Do not take for granted that information provided by job applicants is always correct and accurate."

A mentor of mine before once told me that one-on-one interview will never replace any screening process for candidates. Because this dilemma of dishonesty will always happen in a certain number of job seekers.

Rachel | Resume Builder

That’s true. Accuracy in every aspect of C.V is essential whether it will be an academic qualifications or career details because false details will never give a long term success.

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