One third of managers have admitted to lying or exaggerating about their qualifications in the past, according to a survey by ELAS.
The business support specialist issued that statistics after the chief executive of Yahoo was pressured to step down after it was discovered that his CV included a faked undergraduate degree.
While one in 3 managers admitted to lying, only one in 50 had ever been caught out.
Peter Mooney, head of employment law at ELAS, said: “Whether it’s a little fib to alter starting or leaving dates or something more serious like tweaking exam grades or a qualification, it seems that lying on CVs is commonplace.
“The fact that so many people do it might make the liars out there feel comforted, but it could backfire spectacularly – as we may be seeing at Yahoo.”
Yahoo executive Scott Thompson’s CV showed that he had a bachelor’s degree in computer science, which in reality he had never received. Mr Mooney believes that if you have the skills to do a job, with or without official qualifications, lying is pointless.
He continued: “Even for jobs much less high-profile than CEO, being caught with any factual errors on a CV can amount to gross misconduct and is ample grounds for an on-the-spot sacking.”
Out of the 700 business managers from across the UK questioned, almost 4 in 10 have caught a job candidate lying on a CV or in an interview, indicating that the problem could be bigger than originally anticipated.
Mr Mooney added: “The fact that so many bosses claim to have caught somebody else lying suggests to me that the third who admit to having lied themselves could be just the tip of the iceberg.
”The trouble is that so much of people’s past is now searchable online, which makes it far easier for potential employers to check up on people’s past.
“When it comes to the employment law, there’s no such thing as little white lies. Any misrepresentation on your CV may help you get the job you want, but it can just as easily lead to you getting the sack.”