May 16, 2007

Faking It

Posted by Ben Simo

Pradeep Soundararajan recently posted a podcast about fake experience on resumes. [listen] This reminded me of an experience I had with a fake resume.

A colleague came to me, dropped a resume in my hand, and asked if I had worked for a company listed on the resume. I quickly scanned the resume and noticed a former employer listed in the experience. I checked the dates and discovered that they included a period that I worked for that company. I then read details that listed projects in which I had been intimately involved. However, I did not recognize the name at the top of the resume. I then called several people at that company and could not find anyone that knew this person.

The experience listed on the resume was fake. It was a lie.

Lying on your resume can come back to haunt you -- sometimes even many years down the road. Don't fall into that trap.

This blatant lie was easily caught. Even if I had not worked for the company listed on the resume, whether or not someone worked for a company is usually easy to check. Former employers may be unlikely to give details about what a person did and why they left, but they will generally confirm whether or not someone was an employee.

Faking it may get your foot in the door, but once you are in you still have to perform. The person that submitted this fake resume was interviewed. It was reported to me that it quickly became clear that the person did not have the amount of experience they claimed.

Job hunting can be tough. Faking it does not help. It only makes it tougher. Tell the truth.

The truth may hurt for a little while but a lie hurts forever.



May 17, 2007  
Pradeep Soundararajan wrote:

Thanks for blogging about it Ben. I want to share with you some more stuff and stories on the same topic and here it goes...

Here are some tips that might help in identifying people with fake experience ( in India or maybe other countries, too):

1. There are some organizations that give away fake certificates or experience letters for money and one such person caught from such a company - others are easier to be caught. So, it might a good idea to make a note of such a company and pass it on among friends.

Also, faking an experience certificate of a huge reputed company is not something that such people would dare to do. Since they would face a criminal action from 2 companies when they get caught.

2. The projects that they put in their resume are more or less similar and again one such guy caught with that project - others are easier to be caught. So, if you find one such fake resume, circulate it - it might help your friends or if they circulate thereafter, it might help you.

3. I have seen at least 100 fake resumes so far. A common pattern than I observe among them is :QTP, Winrunner, Loadrunner - which is taught for $100 in one month and some training centres in India also help them with fake projects.

(Some people even put Winrunner x.x version. I wonder if they would be able to work with an advanced or backward one )

4. My friend working for a big company, called over a candidate for an interview whose resume appeared to be a close match for the job opening they had. In the interview, when the candidate was cornered the candidate revealed this "I am sorry, a friend of mine got job in your company and I thought it might be a good idea to use the same profile which has got me this interview call." Arrgh!

A clue - before you call a candidate for an interview who appears to be a good fit for your team - look within the resume database of the employees of your company. Interviewing such candidates might take away your time, which you could have put in for your self development.

Whatever measures people try to take to avoid people with fake resume getting a job in an organization, they pass through it. Wondering how?

Here is a story:

A tester who sent her resume to me asking me to suggest the best projects for her to be added in her fake experience did not get a reply that she expected from me but instead I tried explaining her the problem that she might face but she wasn't ready to listen to me.

After a couple of days she called me up and with an arrogant tone "Hey you know, I got an offer from XXXXXX and my pay is this $$ and fake experienced helped me get the job"

I asked, "You mean, if you did not have fake experience, you wouldn't have got this job?"

She replied, "Yes Pradeep! I was asked by the interviewer if I had fake experience and I said *YES* and you know what he replied for that? He said - don't worry, I also added fake experience and I want to give you job because I understand your difficulty"

3 months later - she called me up again and cried over the phone. Here is the most interesting thing that happened...

She was identified by the HR department of XXXXXX as a candidate who faked experience when they conducted a background check. She was then questioned and she tried defending herself by saying, "It's not my fault, the interviewer said he too had fake experience and he was the one who cleared me in the interview process".

The HR replied, "Wow! we found one more, Thank you!"

Both were fired the same day!


May 24, 2007  
Ben Simo wrote:

Last year, Jim Hazen told a good story about fake resumes followed by fake interviews. Take a look.