Studies reveal that resume falsification is a common event. Statistics suggest that as many as 50 percent of all resumes contain some degree of distortion. While it is natural to expect that some form of embellishment on resumes will occur, there is a big difference between accentuating your strengths and creating new ones altogether. When it comes to full blown lying on your resume, the truth is that you can be fired.
That is what Yahoo and its current CEO Scott Thompson learned last week when it was widely reported that he did not earn the computer science degree that his resume claimed.
In an article written in the Metro, Daniel Lublin tells the story of “Doctor” Richard Clark who applied for a job as a consultant with Coopers & Lybrand where in his application for the job, he represented that he had a PhD in applied mathematics, which helped him land the job. A few years later, Cooper learned that Clark did not hold this degree and fired him immediately; arguing he would have never been hired had the firm known the truth about his resume. Clark sued but later lost; as both a trial judge and the Ontario Court of Appeal concluded that Clark could not benefit from his own wrongdoing.
Lying on your resume may leave you looking for a new job and there are some legal points that courts will consider. One of the previous articles written by Daniel Lublin tells you more about this and you can read about it here.
The law implies that not every act of dishonesty can lead to termination. Often, context can come before content and a mere error in judgment can be overlooked. However, when it comes to a resume, it’s still best to stick to the truth.