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(BBC)   One-fifth of resumes and job applications contain "significant lies." The other four-fifths are submitted by people who really did invent the cursor   (news.bbc.co.uk) divider line 91
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3899 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Oct 2006 at 6:02 AM (8 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2006-10-09 12:35:25 AM  
I once interviewed a guy whose resume showed that he was vice president and manager of the Connecticut Branch of XYZ Company. The problem was, I was the vice president and manager of the Connecticut Branch of XYZ Company. We had moved offices and switched company names a couple weeks before. He thought he was interviewing with a different company.

The interview went like this
"Hi I'm Joe Blow"
"You are an asshole, this is XYZ Company, we switched names last week. Get the hell out of my office."

I made him drive down for the interview and sit for an hour just to kick him out.
 
2006-10-09 04:01:28 AM  
MorningBreath: I made him drive down for the interview and sit for an hour just to kick him out.

To someone who wasn't in HR this might sound cruel, but aafter you have to wade through page after page of boasting and fake credentials, and multiple interviews with idiots, it is great stuff.
 
2006-10-09 06:10:23 AM  
I applied for a job with the Feds recently, in a department I previously helped out in as a contractor. I applied for the same standard position most of the employees there have, and I think only one or two out of about twenty I worked with would qualify under the KSA's I had to respond to.

Most of them probably wouldn't even know what the hell the KSA's meant. On the other hand, they were poorly written and full of typos and grammatical mistakes.
 
2006-10-09 06:11:10 AM  
My prior places of employment were all so wildly successful with me on board that they were able to all retire early and close down forever, and thus can never be contacted.



/grump
 
2006-10-09 06:12:56 AM  
Marge: What do I do?
Smithers: Heh, heh, heh. Marge, please!
According to your resume you invented this machine.
 
2006-10-09 06:13:15 AM  
I'd like to know the percentage of job postings that are basically lies. I bet it's higher.
 
2006-10-09 06:18:15 AM  
Maybe employers should examine the current absurd norms of corporate culture and ask themselves, "Am I getting what I asked for?"
 
2006-10-09 06:19:30 AM  
eddyatwork makes a good point. Most job postings themselves are full of bs.
 
2006-10-09 06:22:38 AM  
I don't lie on my cv/resume. No that I've got the world's best experience (it is pretty good though I guess), just that I know that I look for stuff to call people on when I interview them. If I stuck falsehoods in there and got called on them it would be embarassing. But then I guess some people don't care about that and many interviewers don't check much at all. I've managed to get jobs in the past without a reference being asked for at all.
 
2006-10-09 06:26:09 AM  
which of course makes it all the much harder for those of us that are actually truthful on their CV.

I have interviewed with some shiatty places, one guy said I was more than qualified but too young. No age discrimination against being too young, just too old. (I was 24)

/waiting for a call back, will call them in 4.5 hours
//then a background check and a piss test
///welcome to the machine
 
2006-10-09 06:26:17 AM  
I really was the ruler of France. Until that damn coup.

/what do you mean thats not managerial experience?
 
2006-10-09 06:31:10 AM  
natemc

Urine test? Really? 'kin hell, I'd never work for a place that did that. Mostly 'cos I'd fail and they wouldn't hire me, but even if I was the sort of person that could pass those things I'd have a moral objection.
Employers really have you by the balls in the US huh?
 
2006-10-09 06:32:22 AM  
natemc good luck on that background check depending on the position they take up to a year to finish.
 
2006-10-09 06:34:04 AM  
Morningbreath
Do you do business with Contoso Inc.?

/Obscure? Only if you never studied for Microsoft.
//Would like a position with Morningbreath. ;)
 
2006-10-09 06:53:10 AM  
On my CV it says that I invented the question mark.

/funny film.
 
2006-10-09 06:56:26 AM  
aplusboy: Most job postings themselves are full of bs.

Some of the crap I've encountered:

Jobs that don't exist other than to justify a recruiter's job.
Jobs that are really recruiters trying to get contact info of references to spam them.
Jobs where they have a person in mind, but have to go through the motions.
Jobs where the job is being outsourced in six months but know you won't apply if told.
Jobs that offer a payrate that is insulting. Fark competitive salary, state a range!
Jobs where they want a specific type of person, but affirmative action would scream.
Jobs where they make it seem like something, but it's really sales.
Jobs that are shills for the military.
Jobs that are shills for local sleazy tech schools.
Jobs that are shills for multi-level marketing.
Jobs that are p/t w/o benefits, but don't tell you until you are there.

I'm sure I've missed some, but this is just some of the crap I've experienced job hunting.
 
2006-10-09 06:57:36 AM  
I'm retired, i invented dice
 
2006-10-09 06:58:25 AM  
I recently finished a masters degree in finance and an mba, but my background is construction surveying.

can't even get a damn phone call re finance.
overwhelmed with surveying job offers that I don't really want. sigh
 
2006-10-09 07:01:13 AM  
I was stupid enough to post my resume on a very popular Aus job site. Then received no end of 'job' offers involving Western Union money transfers. doh.
 
2006-10-09 07:07:14 AM  
I had a friend who made up jobs for his resume. He worked for us for a month, on his resume he listed it for a year. Got a call from a software company asking about him, the person asked about his work dates and I told her. She said "he must round up". I asked her what she meant, she said he listed us for a year. Woops. She called him on all of his lies, too.

Stretching the truth is one thing. Saying that you worked for Microsoft but have no one who can verify you? Tsk tsk.
 
2006-10-09 07:15:53 AM  
media.popularmechanics.com

*whistle*
 
2006-10-09 07:17:56 AM  
Finding a good job is hard, can't say I'm surprised I'm not the only one who's lied here and there. Only I was smart about it. I used friend's mothers and fathers as my personal references, and my friends as fake bosses. Works best when their parents have divorced and mom remarries, then the last names don't match up and no one's the wiser.

Yes, I know it's dishonest and could get me fired, but when employers only care about experience and you're fresh out of college, where the hell are you going to get it?

/Lists 'problem solver' on resume for this reason alone
 
2006-10-09 07:44:25 AM  
Great Janitor your username says it all....

lying on your resume is lame.
 
2006-10-09 07:50:44 AM  
Sid_6.7

I applied for a job with the Feds recently, in a department I previously helped out in as a contractor. I applied for the same standard position most of the employees there have, and I think only one or two out of about twenty I worked with would qualify under the KSA's I had to respond to.

Most of them probably wouldn't even know what the hell the KSA's meant. On the other hand, they were poorly written and full of typos and grammatical mistakes.


I just submitted 4 pages worth of KSAs when applying to a federal agency last week. My aunt, who has been a federal employee forever, was very insistent on helping me. Initially, I was glad to have the help. However, it soon became apparent that she was really ginning up the KSA stuff too much. I submitted what I had done to her so she could critqiue and she added a bunch of overstated or fabricated crap.

I kept removing said crap and she was incredulous. She said that "everyone does it". The version I finally submitted was grandiose with flowery technical language, but it was accurate.

There is no way in hell I will put something false on a resume. I know if I do the interviewer will ask "How about this time you saved the planet?" and I will be like a deer in headlights.
 
2006-10-09 07:52:23 AM  
I hire staff for a doctor's office. An applicant for a medical assistant came in that looked stellar: She had worked with two "promonient" (real spelling) Family Physicians in the area and had a whole list of procedures she was competent to assist with.

Here's the problem: One of the physicians was busted for multimillion dollar Medicaid fraud and lost his license. I know him because I happened to have toured that practice when I was a student. The "procedures" he did were bogus. He billed for them without actually performing them. Very shady guy.

The other one retired years before she said she worked with him. As for the "procedures" she assisted with in the office, the list was cut-and-pasted from the paragraph from the other job.

She didn't get an interview.

By the way, the fraudulent doctor now runs his own "weight loss clinic" where they prescribe controlled substances for weight loss. He gets cash payment from this. Because of his history, insurance companies won't put him on their panels so he's stuck doing this private-pay stuff.
 
2006-10-09 07:55:43 AM  
I've never lied on a resume... I've left plenty of stuff off though...
 
2006-10-09 07:57:55 AM  
eatomhoch

I've never lied on a resume... I've left plenty of stuff off though...

So you like concise, efficient resumes? I completely understand.

/whistles
//looks around innocently
 
2006-10-09 08:08:14 AM  
I don't work in HR, but I've heard employers say several times that the most important part of an application is the covering letter. That's where you sell yourself. Follow the job description when discussing your skills and show an enthusiasm for the company - and keep it all in one page.
 
2006-10-09 08:11:12 AM  
You mean I should remove those two Pulitzer and three Nobel prizes from my resume?

/What about my Peabody?
 
2006-10-09 08:23:22 AM  
I leave most of the lying for the interview, that way I can make them up on the spot as needed.

/Start a new job Nov. 6
 
2006-10-09 08:25:24 AM  
This is an actual job application that a 75 year old senior citizen
submitted to Walmart in Arkansas.
They hired him because he was so funny.....


NAME: Kenneth Way (Grumpy Bastard)

SEX: Not lately, but I am looking for the right woman (or at least one who will cooperate)

DESIRED POSITION: Company's President or Vice President. But seriously,whatever's available. If I was in a position to be picky, I wouldn't be applying here in the first place ?

DESIRED SALARY: $18 5,000 a year plus stock options and a Michael Ovitz style severance package. If that's not possible, make an offer and we can haggle.
EDUCATION:Yes.
LAST POSITION HELD: Target for middle management hostility.
PREVIOUS SALARY:A lot less than I'm worth.

MOST NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT: My incredible collection of stolen pens and post-it notes.

REASON FOR LEAVING: It sucked.

HOURS AVAILABLE TO WORK: Any.

PREFERRED HOURS: 1:30-3:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL SKILLS?: Yes, but they're better suited to a more intimate environment.

MAY WE CONTACT YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER?: If I had one, would I be here?

DO YOU HAVE ANY PHYSICAL CONDITIONS THAT WOULD PROHIBIT YOU FROM LIFTING UP TO 50 lbs.?: Of what?

DO YOU HAVE A CAR?: I think the more appropriate question here would be "Do you have a car that runs?"

HAVE YOU RECEIVED ANY SPECIAL AWARDS OR RECOGNITION?: I may already be a winner of the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, so they tell me.

DO YOU SMOKE?: On the job - no!
; On my breaks - yes!

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING IN FIVE YEARS?: Living in the Bahamas with a fabulously wealthy dumb sexy blonde supermodel who thinks I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. Actually, I'd like to be doing that now.

NEAREST RELATIVE....7 miles

DO YOU CERTIFY THAT THE ABOVE IS TRUE AND COMPLETE TO THE BEST OF YOUR
KNOWLEDGE?: Oh yes, absolutely.
 
2006-10-09 08:27:13 AM  
A couple of years go, when the IT department at my job
was not as efficient as it is today (IE, it was screwed,
blued and tatoo'ed due to top-down incompetance), they
ran through helpdesk guys like Murphy Brown went through
secretaries: generally speaking, they were either very
nice people with zero technical skills, or utter
ignoramuses with zero people skills who held on to their
jobs because they were friends of management.

Occasionally, though, due to sheer accident, a halfway
competant person would be hired: one of them seemed
like a pretty cool guy: a big burly bearded semi-geek
not unlike myself, who actually seemed to have it on the
ball technically and who had a decent personality. I
was even thinking of poaching him out from under the IT
department to work on my team.

After he was a couple of months on the job, one day while
coming back in from a cigarette break, I saw him walking
out of the door in the middle of the morning, hat and coat
on. I get upstairs and see my boss (who half agreed with
me that this person was worth recruiting for my team)
and I tell him that I saw Person X leaving.

"Yeah," said my boss, "He was fired because he falsified
his resume." Seems he claimed to have an MCSA, a CCNA,
AND a CNE (we were then, God help us, a Netware shop).
It had taken the back-assed IT department nearly 4 months
to figure out that he was a lying prick, and since that
time they've instituted background checking for all
prospective employees, probably due to his malfeisance.

Just goes to show you can't trust anyone.

The epilogue is, about a month later, this guy calls me
on my private office line (I'd let it slip that, at that
time, I was somewhat disenchanted with my job, which I
was, but which has since gotten much better). "Hey, I'm
working up the street at Company Y (a company this is an
indirect competitor of mine). I know you're not happy
at Company X, want me to put in the good word for you?"

"No," I said without hesitation, "And do me a favor: lose
this number and never call me again", and I hung up on him.

I wonder how long he lasted at Company Y?
 
2006-10-09 08:35:12 AM  
Dragonsbreath i think that application was filled out by a teenage boy in florida,who submitted it to a McDonalds
 
2006-10-09 08:37:45 AM  
thisispete

Nope, the cover letter is crap. No recruiter I know (and I am one)reads them. I wouldn't say don't do one, but don't put all your eggs in that basket. And there's nothing wrong with a 2 page resume, unless you're fresh out of school and obviously padding it. But if you're experienced and have been working for 5+ years, 2 pages isn't unheard of.

And really, don't lie. I've caught several people in lies. We have our ways, beyond the official background check, of finding things out. For example, we really CAN see if you post multiple "tailored" resumes on dice or monster. (Hmmmm, that's strange. How come this guy was a software tester between may 2005-2006 on one resume, but on the other was a financial analyst at the same time?)
 
2006-10-09 08:46:09 AM  
Mordis I really was the ruler of France. Until that damn coup.

It wasn't a coup - they surrendered...
 
2006-10-09 08:53:28 AM  
I was once turned down for a job at the local dole office as a case manager, because I was 'too old'. I was 23 at the time, and as an unemployed ex-student, I had a case manager of my own - in his 50s.

Earlier this year I was turned down for the sole reason, 'we don't think you'd like the hours.'

WTF?!
 
2006-10-09 08:55:41 AM  
whodigsben: Nope, the cover letter is crap. No recruiter I know (and I am one)reads them. I wouldn't say don't do one, but don't put all your eggs in that basket. And there's nothing wrong with a 2 page resume, unless you're fresh out of school and obviously padding it. But if you're experienced and have been working for 5+ years, 2 pages isn't unheard of.

And really, don't lie. I've caught several people in lies. We have our ways, beyond the official background check, of finding things out. For example, we really CAN see if you post multiple "tailored" resumes on dice or monster. (Hmmmm, that's strange. How come this guy was a software tester between may 2005-2006 on one resume, but on the other was a financial analyst at the same time?)



QFT. I tell people that unless you are working for a really "white" place that is going to consider your cover letter (Enterprise Rent-A-Car is a great example), then don't write one or write one that is quick and too the point.
 
2006-10-09 08:57:03 AM  
"This year's results have yet again brought to our attention how unscrupulous candidates can be when applying for jobs, and highlight their apparent lack of conscience towards potential new employers,"

Won't someone please think of the employers?!?!?
 
2006-10-09 08:57:07 AM  
I don't have to lie on my resume because people ask for me by name. Interesting how you can earn a great rep simply by being competent and reliable, not screwing people over, and working well with others.
 
2006-10-09 08:58:05 AM  
danduran

If they really said that "you're too old," that's way illegal and you have recourse with the Equal Employment Office....oh wait, just checked your profile. Hell, I don't know what you Kiwis do, but I'm sure there's an equivalent down there.

When employers in the U.S. think someone is too old, they typically say, "I believe your over-qualified." Yeah, it's crap and it drives me up a wall.

(I thought NZ's unemployment rate was around 3%?)
 
2006-10-09 09:01:01 AM  
So, here I was with a pretty sweet job working with Arabian horses. Next thing I know, some loon offers me an insane amount of money for a desk job at some Federal Agency.

Would have worked out great if some chick (Katrina, I think her name was?) hadn't caught me with my pants down...
 
2006-10-09 09:03:07 AM  
thisispete

I'd agree with whodigsben, cover letters are often thrown out, the only use of them is to express intent as most of the "I did this, I can bring this to your company" stuff should be in your cv/resume. Do write one, but keep it simple and don't worry too much.

I wouldn't listen to too many of other people's tips and tricks if you can help it either. People say "write a thankyou note to your interviewer for taking the time". Frankly that might make me vomit.

Dress smartly if it's an office job, even if the role doesn't require it, just to show you can. Turn up on time, talk about what you know and don't be afraid to answer "I really don't know, what were you looking for there?" if you get stumped.

/28 year old goth/slacker/stoner
//somehow seems to hold down well paid jobs and get to be on the other side of the table a lot.
 
2006-10-09 09:04:16 AM  
Billdozer

I see what you're talking about, but I usually counsel friends and family to put that sort of, um, EEO information on the resume in some sort of unsubtle place. e.g, Stating you're a member of a certain ethnicity or hertitage club. It may've been way back in college, but put it down. I told my own sister that. But, yep, it doesn't hurt to reinforce that in a cover letter.

Mostly the cover letter is for the hiring manager. If a hiring manager is the one filling the job, then a cover letter is great. He or she is usually looking for the BEST employee. But if you're going through a recruiter or the like, they're usually looking for the LEAST BAD candidate, so they generally don't have time to read a cover letter.
 
2006-10-09 09:06:22 AM  
whodigsben: I see what you're talking about, but I usually counsel friends and family to put that sort of, um, EEO information on the resume in some sort of unsubtle place. e.g, Stating you're a member of a certain ethnicity or hertitage club. It may've been way back in college, but put it down. I told my own sister that. But, yep, it doesn't hurt to reinforce that in a cover letter.


I mean "white" as in "white bread". My friend works for ERAC and they are a really white bready company.
 
2006-10-09 09:06:37 AM  
This reminds me of an article that was greenlit a while back about how students applying for med schools often lie on the apps because they feel they are competing for something that affects them the rest of their lives, and if other people are doing it to look better, they need to do it to have a chance as well.
 
2006-10-09 09:06:57 AM  
"2006-10-09 04:01:28 AM monty666 [TotalFark]

MorningBreath: I made him drive down for the interview and sit for an hour just to kick him out.

To someone who wasn't in HR this might sound cruel, but aafter you have to wade through page after page of boasting and fake credentials, and multiple interviews with idiots, it is great stuff."

But the greatest thing of all is that you are still in HR, which basically means thats where your company thought you could/would do the least amount of damage, while at the same time effectively segragating you away from the rest of the people who actually perform work, and with the people who show movies about mice and cheese......
 
2006-10-09 09:07:47 AM  
And of course, hypocrite that I am, I said not to listen to tips and tricks and then reeled off a list.
I meant don't listen to anyone's tips and tricks except mine which are of course pure, distilled, godlike genius.
 
2006-10-09 09:08:55 AM  
I stand thoroughly corrected. That approach doesn't seem to have harmed me, though. I'm starting a new position within my organisation later this month (going from a library assistant to cataloguer) - and they're even doing a workaround so I can work on my Master of Library and Information Studies degree.
 
2006-10-09 09:15:05 AM  
I saw an ad wanting an IT guy for a advertising place once that wanted someone creative, inventive, fun, etc. I wrote a cover letter saying that I ruled France from 1543-1578, invented bacon, and all kinds of crazy shiat like that and followed it up by saying something close to "Well, maybe haven't done all of that but what I have done is" various tech accomplishments that I then listed. I got an email back from their HR guy saying he was sorry they were only looking for people with lots of Mac experience but loved my cover letter so much they were keeping me on file for whenever they would have enough of a PC demand to bring me in because I wrote the best letter he had ever read.
Other than that, oh dear god I've lied on my resume. My work experience isn't quite as stellar as I may have said and just because my sister with a different last name is a reference has never been caught either.
 
2006-10-09 09:15:20 AM  
DjangoStonereaver: I wonder how long he lasted at Company Y?

It's funny people are more worried about credentials than being able to do a job. I'd suspect a ton of IT people have lied through their teeth to get jobs. But if they can do them, who cares what they're certified in? Certifications prove nothing anyways. Except you can pass a certification test, whoopie.

/yes I've worked in IT thanks much
 
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