Despite considerable advances in technology and marketing, it’s perhaps surprising that the vast majority of people still rely on handing out resumes in order to gain employment. Since that is still the case, the practice of resume lying remains as strong as ever, with numerous high-level casualties at famous companies and institutes such as Yahoo and MIT. But while most people are guilty of at least somewhat embellishing their CVs in order to have a better shot at their ideal job, others take this practice even further by outright lying about their education and qualifications.
In fact, statistics suggest that resume cheating is widespread in first-world countries across the globe. In Australia, for instance, the percentage of people who readily admit to lying on their CVs stands at about 13%,with many more suspected to have at least exaggerated the truth in varying degrees. In the UK, the statistics paint an even bleaker picture, with one in four job-hunters admitting to the unsavory practice.
But there are real consequences to this kind of meddling, aside from the obvious risk of getting caught, which studies show is a lot more common than most people think. Small businesses especially are incredibly vulnerable to resume cheating, as they often lack the resources to perform thorough background checks on all their employees. But a quick look at the perils of hiring a resume cheater should definitely make any company, no matter how large or small, think twice about tightening their hiring procedures:
1. Granting unqualified people a high level of responsibility
The first and perhaps most egregious problem with hiring someone who’s been dishonest on their resume lies in that person’s capacity to actually do the job they were applying for. After all, qualification benchmarks are there for a reason. Just like no one would trust a lawyer without a law degree, it’s quite hard to believe that someone could manage a company without having an adequate education or extensive previous experience in the area. Even worse, people entrusted with a high ranking position that they’ve obtained after lying may actually start believing themselves capable of doing the job, which can easily run a small business into the ground.
2. Resume lying could lead to further deception and even theft
One of the worst parts about lying is that it casts a shadow of doubt over everything else a person says or does. But that’s in case they get caught. In all other circumstances, the initial lie may simply be the first step in a continuous web of deception, something that can culminate in outright theft, as the myriad cases of documented embezzlement from around the world can attest to. This is partly explained by the fact that people, having already beaten the rules once, tend to become progressively braver the more time elapses without them getting caught.
3. The discreditation of the company itself
Whenever a resume cheater does finally get caught, the fallout from the ensuring scandal always goes beyond the candidate himself and starts affecting the company as a whole. Formerly respectable enterprises are brought down by charges of extreme leniency or even full-out incompetency. The public starts viewing them in a different light, with many people losing faith in companies they see as having been run by impostors. Obviously, this can have a negative impact on an operation’s bottom line, but the worst part may very well be the public relations nightmare and the untold long-term damage it may cause to a company’s overall image.
As you can see, resume lying is a serious problem that can easily derail a promising enterprise. Luckily, there are certain steps that you can take to avoid hiring a fraudulent candidate. These include conducting more thorough interview sessions where you question applicants in detail about all their previous jobs, verifying their certifications and licenses online, and contacting all the references given by the candidate. When it doubt, do not hesitate to conduct a criminal background check as well, especially when it comes to positions that require a high level of employee trust. Finally, if your company’s HR department simply doesn’t have the manpower or the resources to engage in such a thorough vetting process, consider enlisting the assistance of a professional employment screening company.
All in all, hiring resume cheaters is a widespread phenomenon with serious consequences for any business. While enacting the necessary measures to prevent such an unfortunate event from transpiring can sometimes be quite costly and time-consuming, they’re a definite must for all companies intent on preserving their core organisational values. So, if you don’t know how to write your CV and resume letter properly, hire a professional to write it for you.