Most of us have “embellished” our qualifications on our resumes. If you’re going to insist you haven’t please don’t; I’ll be able to see your nose growing. But, how many of us have fabricated non-existent positions and degrees to make ourselves look more qualified and educated? If you’re considering it, think again.
In my online travels this week, I found this interesting Guardian piece about a prominent British attorney who told some very big lies on his resume (or curriculum vitae as the Brits like to call it). Those lies included the claims that he received a master’s degree from Harvard, and a doctorate from Oxford, one of Britain’s most prestigious universities. On the flipside, the article also mentions the “accomplishments” of another individual, which consisted of being able to “stand the company of those I hold in contempt,” and “stealing ginger biscuits.” Apparently, those admissions appeared on the second person’s resume. So, which is the bigger crime: stating false credentials, or admitting one’s shortcomings? I should think that, from the prospective of a potential employer, neither would be appropriate, but if given a choice, the honesty exhibited by the second individual would be preferable to the blatant fabrication of a non-existent education. As the author points out, how many prospective employers are actually going to request to see a person’s degree(s)? The chances are slim, but it’s an enormous risk to take. The author is correct to wonder just how many people are faking it on their resumes and CVs.
The world of online training and education has added insult to injury when it comes to making it easy to fake one’s credentials. Sure, there are many well-known, legitimate institutions of higher learning that have begun offering online curricula to students who want to further their education, but can’t sit in an actual classroom. The same goes for online training providers that assist a wide variety of businesses with the online materials needed to efficiently and cost effectively train employees. There are, however, many shady, fly-by-night operations that make unrealistic promises, such as a master’s degree in two weeks, or some such nonsense. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that whichever courses they choose to partake in, are legitimate, not offered by “Joe’s University” or some other questionable institution. Remember, when you tell lies, you have to keep track of them; it’s never difficult to remember the truth.
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