CV Lies: A Lesson in why not to do it

Even the mighty aren’t immune – and what a lesson for anyone thinking they might just ‘tweak’ their CV.

We have been following with interest the case of Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Scott Thompson who, reports suggest, left the company after including a fake college degree on his CV.

He was hired in January, having previously worked at PayPal, for an annual salary of $1 million – with possible bonuses of $2 million this year.

But a discrepancy was discovered in Thompson’s educational background. In his biography he laid claim to a computer science degree which he didn’t have.

As a result of the revelation he was, it is claimed, pressured to give up his post. His experience, career, expertise and three months spent at the company proving his abilities counted for nothing when set against his lie.

This is a very real reminder of the importance of ensuring your CV is truthful. You may not be risking a $1 million salary but if you land a job and then get found out, you’re risking having to walk away in disgrace, and explain that on your CV in future.

Don’t claim to have a degree if you don’t have one; don’t claim to have a better degree than you have; don’t fill in missing gaps with jobs you haven’t had; don’t promote yourself in previous job titles.

Employers are becoming more savvy about checking CVs, by ringing previous employers, calling colleges or searching online.

When it comes to impressing future employers, honesty really is the best quality to have.

About the Author

Emma Plummer

Emma Plummer

Recruitment Partner

Emma blogs for the ACR jobseekers’ blog covering tips on how to stand out, managing the job-hunting process and more.