Fact Checking CVs

Have you ever told a lie? No? Not even a little white one? We all lies as a way of oiling the wheels of social convention, such as telling a friend that her dress looks amazing when secretly you hate it. Sometimes though lies can be more serious. Employers have cottoned on to the fact that not everyone is honest when filling in applications. Exaggeration on CVs is common, so it’s perhaps no surprise that many employers have starting fact checking CVs as standard.

What Does Fact Checking CVs Mean?

Employers are wise to the fact that people often embellish their CVs to make them more attractive. Tweaking an A-level grade from a C to an A, increasing the class of your degree or exaggerating your job responsibilities are all common tactics. Increasingly, recruiters are taking everything on a CV with a large pinch of salt. Recruiting a new employee is expensive in terms of both money and effort and so companies want to get it right. Many are implementing a “due diligence” process for CV checking, where key facts will be verified. This is especially the case in financial services, where a study found that 9% of CVs contained lies which could be “significant cause for concern”.

How Checking is Done

Every employer will have their own key pieces of information which they want to verify. That could be as simple as asking people to provide a passport to check that they are who they say they are. If you’re in your 40s, employers are unlikely to ask you to bring 30 year old certificates to interview. However, employers might check with colleges and schools in the case of younger workers. An online database allows employers to check whether you were at a certain university, and got the degree listed on your CV. A previous employer might get a call to verify that you were actually in charge of a million pound budget, and not in a low-responsibility position. If you’re claiming membership of a professional body, employers can check up on that too.

Conducting Checks

Any business which is thinking about starting to fact check should develop guidelines and policies. The key to the process is drawing up a set of standard checks, and using them evenly and fairly. Don’t pick and choose which facts to check based on feelings or impressions. This leaves you wide open to accusations of discrimination. Tell applicants that you have a fact-checking policy in the hope it makes them more honest. If you’re thinking about running a credit check or doing a basic disclosure on new starters, tell them at interview stage.

Robust screening policies for new workers can protect your business and profit. It minimises the risk of getting someone entirely unsuitable for the job, or someone with a criminal record. A basic DBS check will highlight any convictions which the applicant “forgot” to tell you about. For financial services jobs, a credit check will also flag up serious debt issues which could call an applicant’s suitability into question.


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