“If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there.” – Martin Blank
“My wife…Morgan Fairchild. Whom I’ve seen naked…more than once. Yeah, that’s the ticket!” – Tommy Flanagan, Pathological Liar
Disney had a wonderful movie about this cute little puppet named Pinocchio who had one very big problem. Well, other than being a puppet and wanting to be a real boy, of course.
No, his big problem was that whenever he told a lie, his little wooden nose would grow, which meant anyone and everyone immediately knew what the deal was.
Unfortunately, I now know another recruiter who wishes it were that simple…
We’ve often said that if you follow the Ten Commandments of Networking, you will, by and large, find yourself to be in pretty good shape.
Some great recruiters that hang around our group took the time to help give you some awesome advice about writing your resume, and what should and should not take place when doing so.
There’s an old joke that the only difference between fairy tales and bar stories is that fairy tales start off with “Once upon a time…” while bar stories kick off with “No s*&t, it went down just like this…”
Now, fairy tales usually have happy endings (Pinocchio got to be a real boy who had learned his lesson about lying), and bar stories are at least usually good for a laugh or two, regardless of how factually accurate they are.
But your resume is neither a fairy tale nor a bar story, folks.
So why are people still breaking Commandment #7: Thou Shall Not Lie, and trying to b.s. on their resume?
Especially about something as easily verifiable as a college degree?
Cards on table: I know that I’m the one that keeps harping about how unimportant I think college degrees are. And I’m not changing my stance here, either. Especially once you’re in your thirties and forties, a piece of paper from fifteen to twenty years ago should matter about as much as who you took to the prom when it comes to getting a job. I’ve gotten into arguments with HR about them canning resumes from people who don’t have degrees but have like eight years of experience doing exactly what I need that role to do.
But that doesn’t mean that you should lie about having one, either.
Lying on a resume is something that can keep you from getting a job beforehand, and here’s the kicker that you need to be fully aware of – it can get you fired even after you have the job, no matter how great you’re doing, no matter how much everyone loves you, no matter what else is going on…that’s all the reason they need.
If Yahoo can dump their CEO over it, what makes you think you’re so special?
Granted, you’re not alone, and neither is Scott Thompson. One report out there says that 1 in 5 executives has “padded” their resume.
But what happens when poor old Larry Kroger finds out that it’s all padding when he’s left with handfuls of tissue?
As that one study noted, it’s not all that uncommon that someone gets busted for this, but as this article shows, it hardly ever ends well.
Having to give up enormous chunks of cash.
Especially as a person in the information technology industry, you have to know how easy this stuff is to look up.
And here’s another quote for you: “It’s a small world after all“, because dude, seriously, it is.
And now you’ve wasted a serious amount of time for her, for the company she works for, for their client, and you did it all the way through writing and submitting your resume, in four separate interviews, during conversations and chats with people, and now you’ve pissed off a lot of people.
Pissed off people talk. Just ask businesses listed on Yelp if you don’t think that’s true.
Do you think you’re ever going to be considered for a job there again? And not just the client…oh no, now you’ve burned the bridge with a recruiting company as well, and all of the jobs that they get access to are now beyond your reach.
But don’t you dare get caught complaining about the job market, or how there are no good gigs out there to be had, or even why nobody’s returning your phone calls…
…well, unless you want to own it and just walk around wearing one of these for a while.
Because as with all Don’t Be That Guy entries – here’s your “anonymous” call out.
We’ve always said we do one anonymously, then we pull you aside and have a chat, and then we ban you.
So now you’ve got strike one.
And it’s not just recruiters that catch you, and it’s not just having a degree or not that can get you in hot water. Someone in our group was getting ready to do a tech interview on a candidate, noticed the company that this person said they used to work at…and it’s a pretty small place…and she knows pretty much everyone there…and so she reached out…
…and so the tech interview got turned into a phone call that started not with “So tell me about your skills” but rather “I know you didn’t work at [company], so why should I not kill this interview now? You have one minute to convince me.”
Needless to say, that candidate isn’t working with her these days.
My favorite personal experience was when a guy ran into one of my tech leads in a bar, talked shop with him, and then took everything my tech lead had told him, put it on his resume…
…and then applied for a job with our company!
That’s a phone interview that’s still talked and laughed about over beers.
Go rewrite your resume, update your profile, get this nonsense out of your system and Don’t Be That Guy any more.
It’s just not worth it. Hopefully you’ve learned that lesson now.