Let’s focus on, Dean, the guy not living up to his resume. The most recent Business 2.0 Dumbest Moments in Business (#42) lists that MBAs cheat more often than any other degree program, totaling almost 56% that have plagiarized, taken others work, etc. Rutgers University professor Donald McCabe states,

“You have business students saying, ‘All I’m doing is emulating the behavior I’ll need when I get out in the real world.'”

I shared such as experience as an entire case study which I had written was used by another student. I can’t place all the blame on the MBA program however, you can imagine my surprise when the Dean of Students refused to meet with me regarding the incident.

Is it any wonder then that people are increasingly stretching the truth on their resumes? According to a report on CNN, while only 5% of job seekers admit to lying on their resumes, 57% of hiring managers claim they have caught a candidate in a lie either on their resume or application. Some of the most common resume lies include:

  1. Lying about degree status
  2. Playing with dates
  3. Exaggerating numbers
  4. Increasing previous salary
  5. Inflating titles
  6. Lying about technical abilities
  7. Claiming language fluency
  8. Providing a fake address
  9. Padding GPA

I believe we are all aware of the potential consequences of these actions. Not only do you risk not getting the job, but if you are focusing on a particular industry, word is likely to get around about your credibility. Once you develop a reputation for inflating your abilities you will be hard pressed to find the employment you were seeking. Take for example the Yale student, Aleksey Vayner, whose claims include

  • He claimed that he “is one of four people in the state of Connecticut qualified to handle nuclear waste“.
  • He was employed by both the Mafia and the CIA during his childhood.
  • He gave tennis lessons to Harrison Ford, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Jerry Seinfeld. He further claims to have won two games in a tennis match against Pete Sampras.
  • He is a specialist in “Chinese orthopedic massage”.
  • The Dalai Lama had apparently written his college recommendation.
  • He has killed two dozen men in Tibetan gladiatorial contests.
  • He claimed to be “an action star, an espionage expert, and a professional athlete.
  • He would be on the C.I.A. firing range one day and at a martial-arts competition that took place in [a] secret system of tunnels underneath Woodstock, New York the next.”

My question would be simply, how did he get into Yale?

Instead of focusing on improved search methods to cut through the clutter, why is it that candidates lie in the first place? We continually hear that it is a competitive job market out there. That having a degree no longer makes anyone special. While I agree that deception is not the answer, a portion of the responsibility lies with the standards that have been created by internal screening processes.

It is widely known that two things that can get a candidate instantly excluded are large employment gaps and living outside the local area. In addition, when it comes to salary, it is also known that requesting this information gives the current interviewer a starting point with salary negotiations. With this criteria it only becomes a matter of time before some turn to “little white lies” to exploit the system.