Secrets of the Job Hunt


Monday, August 17, 2009

Employment Screening Finds Increase in Lying on Resumes

According to one old saying, "Desperate times call for desperate measures". Apparently desperate job seekers are sinking to lying in alarming numbers, hoping to increase their chances of finding work during tough economic times. One recent survey found that the number of falsehoods on resumes caught by background checks (for more information click here) has risen by 12 percent in the last year.

The recent pre-employment screening survey from United Kingdom based Powerchex found that economic issues have caused an increase in the number of jobseekers who lie on their applications. Between June of last year and May of 2009 approximately 4730 resumes sent in to for financial firms were reviewed for the study. Powerchex found that 19 percent of these jobseekers had lied in hopes of getting a job. This is a 12 percent increase from the last survey and the highest number of liars caught in the last 3 years.

According to a recent press release, the largest increase in lies detected by pre-employment screening occurred in the under-21 year old age range. The survey found that these individual misrepresented themselves by 30 percent more this year than they did last year. Powerchex believes this shows how much the recession is affecting those struggling to find their first jobs in a more competitive market. Since there are fewer employers hiring these workers and older people, desperate for work, are taking entry-level jobs, it is becoming significantly harder for people in this age bracket to find employment.

Sadly, before the economy began to suffer, those under 21 years olds were the most honest on their resumes. According to the survey, now 18 percent are lying on their applications.

"This is the second year in a row that there has been an increase in the number of candidates lying to recruiters," said Powerchex’s Managing Director Alexandra Kelly in the recent press release. "The pressure of the recession on job markets seems to have lead more applicants to believe that they should lie or make embellished claims to get jobs. It's unfortunate to see that more young people are reacting to the pressure this yea. Their socio-economic group has been one of the hardest hit."

David Willetts, who is the Shadow Minster for Universities and skills, agrees that the recession has been particularly hard for this age group.

"Young people are the biggest victims of the recession," said Willetts in the release. "The employment rate of graduates was falling even before the recession took hold. We now have record levels of you people not in education, employment or training. Ministers are letting our young people down. Youth unemployment can scar individuals for life."

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