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August 19, 2008

What a tangled web we weave …

Jaimy Szymanski | Experience MattersI’ll cut right to the chase: almost half of America’s job seekers are liars.

No, seriously. (Okay, so more like 47 percent according to an Inc.com article, but that’s close enough for me to be disgusted … and, to continue in my spontaneous tirade.)

The article discusses a ResumeDoctor.com study of more than 1,000 resumes, submitted for positions ranging in business experience. After six months of fact-checking, the online company found at least one significant fabrication in almost half of the resumes.

At what point does a job applicant think it’s probably a good idea to lie about his or her experience level? And, more importantly (and, more fun to think about), when and how does the truth reveal itself?

(Cue the fuzzy, wavy daydream border)

Setting: Around the morning water cooler, Rick is approached by his boss.

Boss: So, uh, Rick, I did a little fact-checking in my spare time this weekend on your resume you turned in to us about 16 years ago when you started working here.

Rick: Oh, cool.

Boss: Riiiiight. And, well, I don’t know how to put this, Rick, but your managerial experience was made up.

Rick: Oh yeah?

Boss: Yeah. And, you didn’t really graduate from high school.

Rick: Funny!

Boss: Yeah. Oh, and your name isn’t even Rick.

Ri…(???): Hm, that’s weird!

(Back to reality)

Seriously though, that’s how ridiculous it is to fabricate your business experience, education or the like. If candidates feel forced into doing so to land a job, then maybe they should realize what that really means: they’re simply not ready for it.

This study also makes me wonder what other things half of America lies about on a regular basis … that list would probably be equally disheartening.