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7 Common Lies That Job Seekers Tell (+ How They Embellish Their Resumes)

Would you lie on your CV? For the majority of job seekers, the answer is “yes”. These days, job seekers are becoming less honest on their CVs, with the problem being particularly prominent in emerging markets in Asia.



In Malaysia, for instance, it came to light that Deputy Foreign Minister Marzuki Yahya was lying about having a degree from Cambridge University. Marzuki Yahya initially insisted that he would “prove” that he had a degree in business administration from Cambridge University, but later retracted his words, and said that he studied at Cambridge International University in the United States instead.

Why are more people lying on their resume?

Statistics from CareerBuilder show that a whopping 58% of employers have caught a lie on a resume, and other researchers have noted that job applicants are now lying more frequently on their resumes.


Why is this the case? If you ask us, high unemployment rates and stiff competition in job markets are two major factors. Faced with mounting pressure, candidates are now taking to embellishing their resumes — in the hopes that this will help them stand out, and gain a leg up on the competition.

7 Areas Where Job Seekers Lie On Their CVs

1. Period of employment

Gap years and sabbaticals are all the rage these days, but after taking time off from official employment, some job applicants worry that their time off might be seen as a handicap of sorts.



Bearing this in mind, it’s common for applicants to extend their dates of employment, so that they won’t be penalized for an extended gap on their resume.

2. Pay

Not all candidates will include their current and expected pay on their resumes, but there are cases in which candidates do include this information (or rather, an inflated version of it). This typically happens when a candidate is hoping to snag a job that pays better, and bump their annual salary up a notch.

3. Accomplishments and responsibilities

An easy way to stand out (and score an interview!) is to detail an impressive list of accomplishments and responsibilities on your resume.


Unfortunately, not all candidates are truthful here — some might talk about how they’ve pioneered projects when they really played a supporting role, and some might state that they’ve led a team to achieve certain accomplishments when, again, they were part of the group being led.


4. Skills

Regardless of what role you have open, you’ll probably have a checklist of skills that you’re looking for. If you receive a resume from a candidate that ticks all your boxes, does that mean you should go ahead and hire them immediately? Nope, not quite. To err on the side of caution, conduct a reference check to make sure that your candidate is indeed well-versed in the skills that you’re looking for.


We all know that conducting reference checks manually is troublesome and eats up a ton of time, but there’s actually a better way to go about it. More specifically, you can use a tool such as Robin to help you automate your reference checking.



With Robin, you can send surveys to your candidates’ references to complete, and once these are done, Robin will use the data to generate a report for you. You can then login to Robin to access all the information that the tool has collated, and use said information to determine whether your candidate does possess the right skills.


5. Education and credentials

Studying in a prestigious university or college might not outrightly get you the job, but in many cases, it can help you get your foot in the door.


Because candidates are well aware of this fact, some choose to be dishonest with their credentials, and fake degrees from reputable universities or schools.


6. Language proficiency

In Asia, it’s common for people to speak several languages, but there’s a huge difference between being able to ask directions to the washroom in Mandarin, and being able to speak Mandarin in a professional capacity.


Again, many job applicants exaggerate their proficiencies at certain languages, hoping that this will give them an edge over other applicants.

The importance of reference checks

Regardless of how wonderful an applicant’s resume looks, or how convincing they seem, you wouldn’t want to hire them, then realize they’re not as skilled or experienced as they claim. That’s why it’s important to conduct reference checks, and cover all your bases.


If you’re in HR, you probably already know how tedious and time-consuming manual reference checking can be. Want to automate the reference checking process, and gather valuable insights about your candidates without hassle? Your best bet is to use Robin, an AI reference check tool that automatically collates feedback from referees, and allows you to evaluate your candidates more accurately.


Want to experience the magic of Robin for yourself? Click here to get a free reference check for your company.

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