Lying on a resume?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Robert Maxwell, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Who is John Galt?
    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.
     
  2. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    That's nasty.

    I remember this one recruiting company that was trying to fill a position for a VAX cluster administrator. My resume said I did have a little bit of VAX/VMS experience, and they wanted to know if I'd be willing to stretch that out on my resume to make it sound like I was an experienced administrator. And I said, "Well, I'm not going to lie about it!" They pressed on for a bit, but eventually gave up.

    I've had a few other experiences like that with recruiters. They want to fill the job quickly, and if that means massaging someone's resume (and even padding it with bullshit), it seems there are some less ethical firms that'll do it.
     
  3. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    ^^^ Yep. This one in particular was a very small company, and I guess they felt that the only way to be competitive with the big boys was to make their applicants look like IT gods and charge accordingly. Not a very reliable business model in the long run, yet many of these companies rarely ever look that far ahead to see the inevitable pitfalls inherent in that way of thinking.

    Oh, well...I chalk it up to Corporate Darwinismâ„¢.
     
  4. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    I will say that I can't be too hard on recruiters. I got my current job through one, and I get a lot of interesting prospects from recruiters trying to fill various positions. It's nice to have the jobs come to me. ;)
     
  5. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Oh, sure. I've worked with many recruiters in the past as well and the vast majority of them are very ethical and treat their people well. However, there are enough out there who aren't to warrant a certain level of caution when approaching someone new in general. And in this current dog of an economy, I suspect there is more motivation to be a little bit less truthful in such matters when it comes down to putting food on the family dinner table. Things are probably much worse now than a decade ago when my thing happened.
     
  6. trekkiedane

    trekkiedane Admiral Admiral

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    I'll let you know when I get there.
    [​IMG]Greeting at Wallmart sure has changed since I was last in the US!
     
  7. Stephen!

    Stephen! Captain Captain

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    Even though, what's posted on Facebook isn't necessarily a credible source of information. Or whether the profile they're viewing is even the person they assume it to be.
     
  8. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Who is John Galt?
    Regardless if it's a credible source or not, employers have added the act of lurking Facebook pages as a part of the behind-the-scenes interview process. This is a well-documented fact of many industries:
    ...and dozens more. Like it or not, credible or not, it's happening right now. There are possible legal ramifications for doing this, but the whole thing is in an embryonic stage right now.

    I find it amusing when some of them have asked me in the past for my Facebook address and I told them I didn't have one. They would ask how I could possibly not have a Facebook page, being a web developer of 18 years. I respond I don't have a Facebook page BECAUSE I've been a web developer of 18 years.
     
  9. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    ...which is why I was thrilled to hear on NPR yesterday that California Governor Jerry Brown signed in to law today a decree declaring martial law....

    Wait, that was Babylon 5, wasn't it?

    Kidding aside: Brown signed into law that it is now illegal for employers to ask for/demand passwords to your Facebook account when you are applying for jobs. Granted, that's (in my opinion) just plain common sense; there's no way I'd ever give something like that away to a prospective employer or even my actual employers. Nice to to know the law is on my side, at last.
     
  10. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    I think it's more profound that said law needs to be passed in the first place. It's seems kind of like one of those "well, duh!" things.

    If not, potential employers may as well ask for your diary.
     
  11. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    I agree that employers really have no business asking for this stuff. Seems to me like it could be outlawed at a federal level, given that the Internet itself is the very definition of "interstate commerce."
     
  12. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ Good point.
     

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