WITH law firms showing renewed confidence in the market and again advertising for staff, prospective candidates are being warned to remain honest on and off paper.
According to US site CareerBuilder.com, 38 per cent of job applicants surveyed indicated they had embellished their job responsibilities.
In this age of easily accessible information, recruiters and employers now have the ability to look longitudinally at information in resumes provided by candidates over many years and map the “content drift” of this information.
This provides an entirely new way of determining a candidate’s veracity when it comes to his or her employment history, the site suggests.
Not surprisingly, most companies surveyed disqualified candidates after discovering their dishonesty.
While 36 per cent still considered the candidate after identifying the errors, they ultimately passed on hiring them, and only six per cent of employers went onto hire deceitful applicants.
Doron Paluch, director at Burgess Paluch Legal Recruitment, is no stranger to “creative” CVs.
“As professional recruiters, we see it as our job to ensure that the law firms we present lawyers to are getting as full a picture as possible of what that lawyer can and can’t do,” he said.
“It serves no bodies purpose for a lawyer to misrepresent their ability or experience as it will all come out in the wash eventually.”
Common “errors” on a resume include embellishing job responsibilities (38 per cent), lying about skills (18 per cent) and falsifying start and end dates (12 per cent).
“We rarely come across lawyers who exaggerate their experience, but we do come across them. We interview them thoroughly to determine even if they have inadvertently misrepresented their experience,” Paluch said.
Paluch said he had seen situations through his career where lawyers have lied about their academics, career history as well as their experience.
These experiences correspond to the survey, which showed 10 per cent of responders’ confess to lying about an academic degree, seven percent lying about the companies they had worked for and five percent untruthful about their job title in their resumes.