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When your past – or lack of it – comes back to haunt you

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
POSTED: May 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Recently, there was an article about Yahoo’s CEO Scott Thompson padding his resume. (

The article stated: “The discovery that Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson does not have a bachelor’s degree in accounting and computer science (he has a bachelor of science degree in business administration, with a major in accounting) makes him the latest executive to be targeted for falsely claiming to have a degree.”

Never Lie on a Resume – Never

Have you ever been tempted to bend the truth on your resume? Many individuals have. When you’re close to the right fit for an organization, but not quite there, it may seem like a small leap to take and to embellish your resume a bit.

Before social media, you may have been able to get away with it. Now?

It’s unlikely.

Social Media Catches a Lot of Candidate Lies

If you post your resume on LinkedIn or any other business-related site, your information is exposed to thousands of other professionals, many of whom have attended the same college and have been employed at the same companies as you. All they have to do is come across your LI profile and read it to see that what you state there isn’t what happened in reality.

You need to be scrupulously honest. If you weren’t the team lead on a project, don’t say you were. Even if you were only five credits away from your BA, don’t fudge and say you have that document. Someone is certain to know. Someone is certain to find out.

Your credibility will take a huge hit. You may never recover professionally.

That’s not to say you have to put negative information on your resume or LI profile. Everyone has something less than stellar in their past. The idea is to highlight your strengths, which minimizes any deficiencies.

There’s no need to embellish. It’s a risk to do so. In terms of your resume and social media profile, honesty is the only policy.