Well, I'm not the one to tell you if Romney's right about that 47 percent. Or if President Obama skips half his intelligence briefings. And the pundits will be fact-checking last night's presidential debate during the live broadcasts.
But I can tell you that fact-checking is not just for politicians anymore. It's for you - and your resume. It's one thing to buff up your accomplishments so you shine. Hey, we're all a little bit of marketers - we're around advertising every day. But it's another to misrepresent yourself and your credentials.
The line between fact and fiction can get blurry - and can really cost you.
Just ask former CEO of Yahoo Scott Thompson (aka Mr. PayPal). Someone checked a fact on his resume and used it to force his ouster from Yahoo.
And Scott Thompson is not alone in faking a college degree. Statistics show that education is the most frequently falsified part of a resume. When I got started in this industry, conventional wisdom was that 20 percent of all candidates had lied about their education. Now, I'm hearing 45 to 50 percent (and that's from the guy who wrote "Freakonomics"). That's just mind-boggling. There was even an Ivy League school that got caught up in it. UPenn recently let go a vice dean who had claimed a doctorate from Columbia - even though he had not completed it.
And employers have more and more online resources, making verification just a click away. Of course your potential employer is Googling you, looking at your LinkedIn profile, and maybe Facebook. That goes without saying - you can't hide your digital dirt anymore. But being asked to show your transcript? Your credentials? That's becoming standard operating procedure - and you should be prepared to do it…and prepared to answer questions about it. Heck, we've even verified earnings (and that's an area most people would love to inflate!). Many times we remind people that their future employer may ask to see their W2. That goes over about as well as a visit to the dentist.
So, why do people persist in resume fraud? Yes, I know some people are unemployed and desperate, but it's a lousy career management strategy. It won't help your career if you're quickly fired because you can't handle the job. And the courts have usually said that misrepresentation of educational degrees or professional credentials is grounds for dismissal. People in my firm are on the lookout for this stuff all the time. There are companies out there selling background checks to HR departments across the company.
So, how do I fact-check my resume?
The line between fact and fiction can get blurry and can cost you. Are you embellishing the facts, like a candidate trying to raise money from a reluctant audience? The facts of life are that a little fact-checking goes a long way. For all of us.
Resume image on home page via Shutterstock.
Last Week to Save on SES London Tickets!
SES London takes place February 10-13, 2014. Learn to engage customers and increase ROI by distributing your online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Join the leaders of today's digital marketing & advertising industry. Find out more ››
*Saver Rates expire this Friday, Dec 13.
In the jungle of recruiting, Alan Cutter is the lion. Alan founded New York City's premier digital media recruiting agency, AC Lion International, over 15 years ago and continues to lead the growing company as their fearless CEO. From search, ad agencies, and publishers to DSPs and third-party data providers, Alan steers AC Lion through the intricacies of the integrated and digital media space. With offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Israel, AC Lion has placed thousands of people and negotiated over $75 million in compensation. AC Lion was recently named one of the Top Ten Entrepreneurial Places to Work by NY Enterprise Report.
Prior to AC Lion, Alan was senior manager at OTEC and played an integral part in the company's evolution into HotJobs.com. Much of Alan's success can be attributed to his belief in and passion for people; ask any of Alan's clients, employees and he/she will speak volumes of their boss's care, consideration, as a compliment to his innovative thinking and out of the box problem solving capabilities.
If you don't see Alan in the office, you can find him in Long Beach with his wife, Jessica, two kids Cobi and Avra, and their beloved surfboards.