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Used a white lie to boost your CV? You could go to prison for 10 years


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Fraud prevention officers have sent a new guide to every university in the country warning students they could face jail for telling “white lies” on their CVs to make them stand out.

The guide, entitled Don’t Finish Your Career Before It Starts, warns that additions like increasing grades, adding un-earned qualifications and formulating extra-curricular activities such as work experience can now be classed as “fraud by false representation” and could even carry a maximum 10-year jail sentence.

As competition for jobs intensifies, employment related fraud has increased dramatically over the past few years. But with an average of 85 students now competing for every graduate job, is it any surprise students are starting their careers as small time criminals?

The guide says that cases referred to the fraud prevention service CIFAS stay on file for six years, so applicants might also be flagged up if they attempt to apply for other jobs.

Students are warned: “Your dream job asks for a 2:1, but you’ve got a 2:2 – so you just make a little change on your CV. You’re worried you don’t have enough work experience – so you pretend your summer of trekking through Nepal was actually spent working at a local solicitor’s firm.

“After all, no one really checks, right? It’s just a little white lie, right? Wrong. It’s fraud.”

Simon Dukes, chief executive of CIFAS, added: “Ignorance isn’t an excuse if you get caught out.”

CIFAS figures show 324 people were prosecuted in 2013 for all forms of fraudulent applications, compared with 205 in 2012.

The guide says one former student was jailed for 12 weeks after lying about his qualifications when applying for a job as a temporary teacher.

He claimed to hold a master’s degree but later admitted to buying it online. Another incident also cites a case of a woman imprisoned for six months for making up references on her CV and also lying about having two A-levels.

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