CV fact and fiction: What to look for CV fact and fiction: What to look for
Can you really treat information declared on a CV as fact? The answer is a solid no! Embellished CVs are commonplace. All it takes... CV fact and fiction: What to look for

Can you really treat information declared on a CV as fact? The answer is a solid no!

Embellished CVs are commonplace. All it takes is a quick online search to prove how prevalent this trend is among job applicants.  

“Candidates want to have a standout CV that grabs the attention of potential employers. Many may add embellishments, misrepresent facts or even blatantly lie to get to the top of the pile.

Candidates want to appear more employable

“Even honest individuals exaggerate their applications so they appear more employable,” says Rudi Kruger, General Manager at LexisNexis Data Services.

CV fiction watch list

The most serious CV embellishments include:

  • fake qualifications
  • fake identities
  • misrepresented criminal records
  • fraudulent work permits
  • inflated job titles
  • fabricated experience
  • incorrect reasons for leaving previous jobs.  

While these gross misinterpretations may help the candidate appear more qualified for the job, it is only after they are hired that their inability to perform can become a serious problem for the employer.

Never accept information at face value

“Recruiters and hiring personnel should not accept information on CVs at face value. No applicant should be trusted blindly.

Validate information

“You want to qualify a candidate by verifying the claims and statements on a CV ,” said Kruger.

Claims around experience, job titles and reasons for leaving may be challenged at the interviews or through referrals.

“Be sure to make that call to past employers for more information and their opinions.

Managers may apply bias

“Some managers may have a personal experience which may affect the selection process,” said Kruger.

Psychometric testing helpful

“Psychometric testing is useful in assessing a candidate’s skill level, maturity and intelligence according to their CV claims.”

Data like qualifications, work permits, criminal history, credit history and fraud listings are important os use third-party screening tools for this part of the process.

Use trusted verification systems

One such party is Lexis®RefCheck. It is a leading South African pre-employment and background screening solution. This tool automates the hiring process and helps to ensure a candidate meets a company’s employment standards.

RefCheck services include:

  • verification of tertiary and secondary academic qualifications held by the individual from registered local and international institutions
  • identity and South African citizenship validation
  • fraud history checks via the South African Fraud Prevention Services
  • credit history checks through detailed TransUnion and Experian credit bureau reports
  • verification of local and international employment history and professional association membership
  • verification of drivers’ licence status
  • matching of bank account information against an identification number or registration number.

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