Employers beware; more than four-fifths of Irish workers have admitted to lying on their CV to land a job.

A survey conducted by an Irish employment law consultancy firm revealed some startling figures:

  • 81 percent have lied about their qualifications.
  • 76 percent have embellished their expertise during interviews.
  • 26 percent have changed their job title to make it sound more impressive.
  • 23 percent gave phoney references.

The last revelation in particular stands out as the survey also found that only 47 percent of firms bother to check references.

Lying on CVs is a practice that goes all the way to the top of the food chain. In 2012 the Chief Executive of Internet giant Yahoo! Scott Thompson was forced to step down from the company as it emerged that he padded out his CV with an embellished college degree.

“There have been pretty high-profile cases of people telling whopping lies on their CVs,” says career consultant Paul Mullen, of Measurability.ie. “However, the problem in a country like Ireland, when it comes to lying on your CV, is that checking up on facts is usually only a phone call away.”

Of course, almost every CV will contain some ‘little white lies.’ These constitute candidates putting an extremely positive slant on their achievements. Employers account for these. The problems only arise when “responsibilities and duties are exaggerated to an outrageous extent.”

Some users shared their stories of lying on CVs on Reddit:

  • 30sirtybirds: “I used to work in a petrol station and a new owner took over. He brought in a new computer to do his accounting and I helped him carry it from his car. On my CV I proudly listed my achievements as ‘assisted with the installation of the back office system’. I now head the IT department for a large company.”
  • Incedentaltourist: “When I worked in tech support a guy lied about having a diploma. He made it through a couple of days of training before checking his references. Once it was apparent that he had lied on his application, they had to let him go.”

Getting caught out with stuff like this can be embarrassing for both the candidate and the employer.

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