Nobody would tell you it is smart to lie on your CV. It makes you look untrustworthy. It cheats others out of jobs they may be better suited to. In the case of professional jobs requiring significant training, it could be dangerous to yourself and to others. And it might be criminal fraud. In short it is not a good plan, and you will probably be found out.
There are numerous cases of highly publicised CV fraud in which the perpetrators got their comeuppance. They lost their jobs, in some cases forfeited significant sums of money, or ended up in jail. But the same can not be said for all. Here are four examples of people who have lied on their resumes and lived to fight another day. Don’t try this at home.
Ronald Zarrella, was Bausch & Lomb’s CEO, who claimed to have graduated with and MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University. Zarella did, in fact, attend the Stern School of Business. However, he never graduated, and it cost him a cool $1.1 million in bonus payments when his lies were found out. But he kept his job, so it was basically a win. Karma caught up with him in the end though when he was forced to leave in 2008 following a string of product withdrawals and other scandals at the eye health company.
James Peterson, is the Microsemi Corporation (makers of defense, security, aerospace and other technologies), President and CEO. After claiming incorrectly to have a diploma from Brigham Young University, he was fined $100,000 and lost out on bonus payments in 2008, but was not fired. In fact, he has bounced back to the extent that, years on, he remains in the position, and the issue of his lack of qualifications has been relegated to the ’controversies’ tab on the company Wikipedia page!
Richard Li, Chairman of Pacific Century Cyberworks, a Hong Kong based information and communications technology company, claimed to have graduated from Stanford University. In reality he left after three years without graduating, a fact which he spun cleverly to describe how eager he was to get started on his career. These days his ’drop out’ status is listed proudly. Right next to his $4.6 Billion net worth in his entry in the Forbes rich list.
Joe Biden Jr
Joseph Biden Junior claimed to have attended Syracuse School of Law on a full scholarship and to have graduated top of his class. This claim, when proved to be somewhat massaged, cost him his 1988 bid for the US presidency. He later bounced back to become the 47th Vice President of the United States, a position he has held since 2009, as part of the Obama presidency. Not bad for someone who graduated 76th from a class of 85.
See Also: Everybody Lies on Their CVs: Even CEOs
Some of these characters fought their way back from bad planning and bad luck. And some - we love to hate them - simply got off scot free. But don’t forget these are a tiny minority of stories extracted from hundreds of horrors available for you to peruse for all time on the web. If you’re willing to take the risk of the next viral tale of CV shame being yours, go ahead. For the rest of us, honesty is definitely the best policy.
Do you have a particularly horrible story of someone lying on their CV that you can think of? Please share it with us in the comments section below...