Dressed up CV? Your career could be cut short
Inflating your academic or professional credentials could get you the job you desire, but could also lead to your downfall
Those who assume that organisations simply archive resume cop ies without ascertaining its verac ity and no one ever gets caught, could be in for a shock. For every Tom, Dick or Harry who gets away with suppressing or dressing up CV details, there could be a Johnny who gets apprehended.If CVs were to be nudged to reveal not-sosugary secrets, it'll be no laughing matter for the candidate. They could lose their jobs for misrepresentation or worse, land in jail for forgery. Therefore, it's best to draft a CV that presents facts as they are.
Minefield of frauds
“We come across cases of candidates being sacked due to false information provided by them. I know of one candidate who had lost his job in 2010, but had withheld this information on his CV to show continuity in service. Soon, his new employer found out and he was asked to go,“ says Sunil Goel, Founder and Managing Director, Global Hunt, an HR consultancy firm.
This is not an isolated case. Candidates also commit more far serious offences like forgery. “Quite often, just to get a raise, candidates forge their last drawn salary figure.There are instances where telephonic interviews are rigged, and candidates ask qualified personnel to give interviews on their behalf,“ notes Moorthy K Uppaluri, CEO of HR consulting major Randstad India. In the IT sector, he says has come across candidates who seek to boost their project experiences by listing projects done by their friends or peers. Similarly, dubious technical institutes giving away fake job experience certificates to candidates from companies affiliated to their institutes also exist. Other frauds include candidates providing false qualification details and concealing the number of times they have switched jobs. “This is to ensure they are not seen as unstable,“ says Uppaluri.
Be prepared for the dressing down
Your misadventures with your CVs can land you in a soup, if not in jail. “Typically, companies immediately terminate contracts of employees who are found to have lied about their qualifications, experience etc,“ says Goel. Jail terms are reserved for more serious offences. “There have been cases when companies have reported the matter to the authorities after consulting their legal teams,“ adds Goel. Employers and HR consultants are increasingly adopting technological tools to check frauds. For instance, they may insist on video interviews to eliminate the chances of experts impersonating candidates. They could also hire agencies to conduct background and qualifications verification. “They approach people other than the references mentioned by the candidates. After following these stringent processes, candidates are then probed on the statements made in the CV to gauge authenticity,“ adds Uppaluri. “Compared to the previous years, there are multiple tracking sources available today for verifying and scrutinising CVs.“
Social media, for instance, has emerged as a powerful tool for employers to validate the information provided by candidates.Basic details like age, school and college attended and employers can be easily verified by going through the candidates' profiles on Facebook and LinkedIN. The Internet never forgets and concealed blemishes can be dug out at will. Don't assume that companies won't carry out investigations once you sign up as an employee. If you do not have the expertise or skills mentioned in your CV , you are bound to be unequal to tasks assigned to you, exposing your falsifications. “Job performance and behaviour can lead to a follow-up investigation into an employee's past. In case of dishonesty, it is often accountable for legal action and may lead to termination,“ adds Uppaluri.
Transparency is the best policy
How do you insulate yourself against such criminal action, loss of job and face? By being transparent. There is simply no other way of evading the repercussions of misrepresentation. “Even if you have lost your job, you must say so. Rarely do companies treat it as a disqualifier these days and you could still land the job,“ says Goel. Likewise, you are better off letting go of jobs that insist on minimum qualifications or marks instead of fudging the information and risking long-term damage to your future prospects.