I experienced resume-padding personally, but almost in reverse. While looking for a new job many years ago, I contacted a consulting company to find me a web development job. I sent them my resume to pass out to other companies. They got me an interview with a potentially good place doing "interface development". Being a web guy, that sounded right up my alley. After about 5 minutes in the interview, it was clear that my definition of "interface", being that which is used for presentation layer/front-end design for web sites, was not the same as theirs - being that which is used as "middleware" to help a front-end communicate with a back-end database, transferring data back and forth for larger multi-tier fat-client systems. I'm familiar with the middleware-style of interfaces, but it wasn't what I thought I was there to interview for (nor was it anything I was even remotely interested in doing). I asked to see the resume they were sent from the consulting firm I was going through, only to find out that it was completely rewritten
, skewed towards that type of interface design. There was still enough of my resume in there to know that it wasn't mixed up with someone else's, so the only thing remaining was that my resume was heavily altered by the consulting firm, without my knowledge or permission, leading to an extremely
embarrassing situation for everyone involved. And it was no accident or miscommunication on the part of the contracting company, but an intentional deception. Needless to say, I didn't do business with the consulting firm, and I lit their asses up for engaging in such unethical business practices. They told me that "everyone did it all the time", or something of that ilk. Last I heard, they went under back in late 2008. Yup. Lots of companies go out of business all the time, too.
So my short answer - under absolutely no circumstances should anyone lie on their resume. Sooner or later, it will
catch up to them, especially if they're asked to do something that the resume says they're supposed to know, but can't even explain the most rudimentary aspects of said task at a conceptual level. Red flags fly quickly in that kind of scenario. Embellishment, focusing and tailoring a resume to fit a target business is okay, but pure, unadulterated fabrication? No fracking way...
And as a side note, akin to the Facebook Wall Post debacle, employers are regularly checking those social networking sites to gather additional metrics on what kind of people are applying to positions. If they see someone photos of an applicant doing bodyshots and funneling in their underwear, they shouldn't be surprised that they can't aspire to a position higher than that of Walmart Greeter.