Not Verifying Resumes Can Come Back To Bite You

Picture yourself back in time. You recently finished college, and you're looking to enter the job market for the first time. The hottest sector is technology with several start-up companies hiring young recruits. Competition is fierce but this is where you want to be. You are keen to impress and you quickly realize, as most young people starting their career, that your resume is short on experience. Strike one. Furthermore, your major in college was accounting. This would be excellent if you were applying to KPMG, however, it's not the focus of a typical tech candidate. Strike two. The thought of being jobless is unbearable.

You prepare your resume and decide that a little white lie won't hurt anyone but it just might help you land that coveted interview. Your degree is no longer in accounting. Now, you are a freshly minted candidate with a computer science degree from a better-than-average stateside school. Sounds much better.

You ace the interview process and land a job at a small tech company. Life is good.

Years go by. Your star is rising. You've been promoted on a few occasions and now you are on track to become an executive of a soon-to-be public company. It's everything you wanted. Until one day it all comes crashing down.

As your company begins capturing news headlines and accolades, someone from within your company stumbles over that little white lie from your resume. Public embarrassment for you and the company is imminent. To save face, the company is forced to fire you. Strike Three.

If this story sounds familiar, it's because scenarios similar to this have played out in companies you may have heard of: Yahoo, Walmart, and IBM. One time executives at these companies were fired because they lied on their resumes and it was ultimately exposed.

Now, you might think the lesson to be learned here is to be truthful. No question, that is true. But it also speaks to a need for resume verification. If the companies mentioned above had done their 'homework' or had taken the steps to verify a candidates major in college, two things would have happened. The shamed individual may never have won the job interview in the first place and these companies would have avoided the embarrassment of having to fire an executive for lying on their resume.