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The screen test

Job seekers who mislead potential employers need to watch out as pre-employment screening is being used by more companies.

Between 30 and 40pc of job applicants are estimated to mislead potential employers about their education record, their professional qualifications and previous employment history, according to Dublin-based Checkback International.

Joey Lyons, general manager of CheckBack, says that in the past year alone there has been a 50pc increase in companies using pre-employment screening. “It is not just major multinationals and financial institutions but also a wide range of indigenous companies,” he says.

Lyons says that when preparing a CV, people should not give themselves credit for academic qualifications they have not obtained or describe specific levels of work experience, which they have not had. Nor should they inflate their previous responsibilities, exaggerate their salaries or falsify dates.

“All of these lies or misleading information can be checked, and are more likely to be checked by the more sophisticated HR departments,” he says.

According to Lyons, who has been head of CheckBack (since 2005), …companies now regard pre-employment screening as an essential part of the recruiting process.

Employers are spending large amounts of money and time looking for the right employees. Mistakes in the selection process can cost them dearly.

And increasingly over-stretched HR departments are outsourcing this function, which is time-consuming but is also becoming more sophisticated and specialised.

So job seekers be warned, just as the indiscreet message or photographs that you might at some time have posted to personal websites be tracked by potential employers, so too will the information on your CV.