Students in the United Kingdom are being warned that lying on their resume (CV over there) could lead to jail time. According to the fraud prevention service CIFAS, the white lies are fraud and misleading to employers. If caught, students could face up to 10 years in jail, and destroy their careers before they even start.
Many graduates are fighting for job vacancies at the moment. There are more graduates than jobs, and it means employers can cherry-pick the best. It has led to some inflating their grades or adding work experience that they do not have just to improve their chances of getting a role.
For those who believe that this is scare-mongering tactics, the lying has already led to 324 people being prosecuted for fraud in 2013 alone. The year before that, 205 people were prosecuted. However, the jail time has not quite been the 10 years, which could be claimed as scare-mongering tactics. One woman was jailed for six months because she lied about two A-level results that she did not have, along with references. One prospective teachers was jailed for 12 weeks because he lied about holding a master’s degree that he bought online.
The problem is that it is difficult for graduates to get a job. While they are at university, they are not likely to think all the way to graduation. They want to enjoy the experience of student life and hang out with their friends. Once they graduate and realize they are up against 84 others on average for each graduate job available, they regret their decisions. This has led to the lying on their resume, which fraud prevention officers are warning students could lead to jail time.
Most will not realize that there are problems with telling the white lies. It is common to question whether employers do check, especially when it comes to an added form of work experience or extra-curricular activity to make someone look better that they really are. However, these white lies are giving people an unfair and illegal advantage over other graduates applying for roles.
The best thing for students to do is get out there and really gain the experience. It could be worth working voluntarily for a firm just to gain the work experience graduate jobs require, or putting oneself through night school to get the extra grades. There are even distance learning university courses for those who would like to take on a low-paying job while improving their chances by getting a master’s degree.
There is no need to lie on a resume, and CIFAS is now making it clear that it could put people in legal bother. Yes, there is competition but it is important to make one’s own resume stand out without telling a few lies. If the resume does not do that, improve chances by doing volunteer work while job hunting. That volunteer work could even end up offering paid positions afterwards. Students should refrain from lying on their resumes, and are now being warned that it could lead to up to 10 years jail time.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham