LinkedIn has become one of the most popular global social networks for business professionals, with over 150 million people using the site to network, job hunt and connect with industry peers and colleagues. With over 500 recruitment companies also using LinkedIn as a source of new talent, is there any wonder why people are choosing to lie in order to enhance their skills in an attempt to land their dream job?

According to a study that was conducted by a recruitment marketing firm Employment Office, over 80% of employers believe that people exaggerate the information on their LinkedIn profiles with overstated skills and experience.

The study revealed that the most untrustworthy information on LinkedIn was in regards to the following:

  • 67% – job titles and responsibilities in previous roles
  • 15%  – periods of unemployment
  • 12% – education and qualifications

A vast amount of people appear to be taking the risk and banking on the possibility that employers are simply too busy to verify every detail. However, as with most things in life, things have a way of catching up with you, even the little white lies that you thought would never be uncovered. Take the former Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson as an example, who was forced to step down after a few phone calls revealed that he had lied about having a computer science degree. The lie landed him the job but clearly did him no favours, and will most likely continue to impact on his future career.

Marsden-Huggins, the managing director of Employment Office, argues that it is ‘vital for employers to safeguard their business by utilising a robust recruitment platform.’ They must conduct background and reference checks to ensure that the information provided by a prospective employee is sincere.

Although it may seem relatively easy to exaggerate and enhance your skills and work experience to improve your chances of landing your dream job, unverified information could in fact do the opposite. Perhaps honesty really is the best policy after all.

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