How to spot a fake CV!


Recruitment consultants are in the business of representing people in the job market, so it’s important that their candidates live up to the expectations of their clients. While a person’s career history may seem immaculate at a glance, it is possible to find flaws and inconsistencies in an application upon closer inspection. We highlight what recruitment consultants should be aware of when evaluating the credibility of a candidate’s job application.

What recruiters need to look out for:


Inexplicable gaps in employment

A candidate should provide a comprehensive summary of their work experience and whatever they cannot include in their CV should be documented in their cover letter. For example, if someone had to take six months off due to a health issue or family commitment, they should provide the reason and explanation for this. 

Irrational career moves with unusual titles

If a candidate’s CV shows that they made a jump from a finance-based role to a more creative role such as copy writing, it’s important to find out why and how the career move came about.

A reluctance to explain reasons for leaving the job

Honesty has proven time and again to be the best policy as far as laying the foundation of a relationship is concerned. While it’s important to note that a candidate may have left a company due to conflict with managers or the organisation itself, they should be able to honestly state their reasons for leaving. Failure to do so should serve as a red light for recruitment consultants.

Unusual periods of self employment

While self employment isn’t necessarily uncommon, unusual time frames of self employment randomly documented throughout one’s career history may be cause for concern. Particularly because it may be difficult to verify the experience as there is no point of reference in the form of an employer. When in doubt, candidates should be able to provide the details of companies that they have worked with on a contract or freelance basis. For example, a candidate who previously freelanced as an event planner should be able to provide documentation of prior events and companies that they worked for.

References that are too perfect

On the surface, a flawless testimony of a candidate’s character may seem like a clear signal to hire them. However, references that are too perfect may be either biased or falsified, making them a cause for concern. For this reason, recruitment consultants should aim to only consider references that show the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate, while also ensuring that the references are credible through background checks on their company and title. This can be done simply through researching company websites and social media profiles etc.

We're recruiting!

Are you an experienced recruiter looking for your next role within the industry? Search Consultancy is a nationwide recruitment agency that offers a wide range of roles from a variety of specialist industry sectors. If you feel you would be an ideal addition to our team, please do not hesitate to contact our internal recruitment manager, Peter Barry by phone on 0113 308 8066, or by email on [email protected]. Take a look at the recruitment consultant jobs that we have on offer here.

Connect with Search


Search Awards

Sign-up to an Account

So we can send you job alerts that match your criteria directly to your inbox.