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Lying on Resume

Rashmi Banthia
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 22, 2003
Posts: 79
What do you guys think about lying on Resume - lies like - changing VisualBasic to PowerBuilder and vice versa. Lying about your experience 5yrs instead of actual 4 years.

The reason I ask is I am looking for a job and during my job hunt period I have been approached by recruiters who ask me modify my resume according to requirement. Like 5 yrs of consistent Java experience OR VB/PB experience.
I am not comfortable doing it - the fact that I'll be sitting across a table in front of a Hiring Manager and LYING scares me terribly.

Is it just me trying to be ultra-honest and the result is no job ?

I would appreciate your opinions.

Thanks!

Rashmi
Abhi Parashar
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 26, 2004
Posts: 11
Its quite a refreshing change to see this question posted.I have seen a lot of people lying on their resumes.Its not too difficult for hiring manager's to figure that out.Its best to be honest and hope for the best.The flip side is that, you may not be called for an interview but thats better than getting fired in the first month.

Again this advice aplies to product companies, for indian services based companies this does not apply(IMHO),but it will not hurt you to be honest.

Cheers.
Paul Sturrock
Bartender

Joined: Apr 14, 2004
Posts: 10336


the fact that I'll be sitting across a table in front of a Hiring Manager and LYING scares me terribly.

Every company I've worked for always put candidates in front of a technical lead before you get to any manager. If the company is worth working for this person will spot that you don't know what you are talking about.


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Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
NEVER lie. You will be found out sooner rather than later and at the very least be fired on the spot.
If you caused legal or large financial problems for the company you can bet on being sued as well.

I've seen it happen to an ex-colleague. He'd lied together his entire resume, and messed up royally at a customer when set to do a job he claimed to have the expertise for.

Customer threatened to sue, but didn't after the man was fired as a result of several grillings in which he admitted (in writing) to have faked his resume.
Turns out there had been prior complaints but none as serious (he was rather charming, guess he sweettalked his way out of a lot of problems).

He was sued for damages by both the company and the customer, I think he's still paying.


42
Arjunkumar Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 986
So we should not lie on resume because we will be caught in future.Isn't there any other reason than this?Suppose somebody is smart enough so that (s)he can get away with that,then is it ok to lie on resume?


Namma Suvarna Karnataka
mark ralphael
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 29, 2005
Posts: 17
Honesty id the best policy.
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16250
    
  21

Originally posted by Arjunkumar Shastry:
So we should not lie on resume because we will be caught in future.Isn't there any other reason than this?Suppose somebody is smart enough so that (s)he can get away with that,then is it ok to lie on resume?


It shows a want of moral fibre. I prefer to deal with honest people myself.

Of course, I also realize that sometimes you're dealing with machine filtering of resumes where the filter is set up by people who are incapable of setting realistic skills requirements. And/or the filters can't recognize skill equivalencies. Or, for that matter, you end up in the hands of a clueless HR person.

I know some people who've lied and gone on to be valuable corporate assets. But I'm not one of them.


Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
Peter Sin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2005
Posts: 547
He lies to you. You lie to him. Why do you want to scare ? This is the rule of business world. It cannot be solved by JAVA. Just my 2 cent.


Rashmi Banthia
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 22, 2003
Posts: 79
He lies to you. You lie to him. Why do you want to scare ? This is the rule of business world. It cannot be solved by JAVA. Just my 2 cent.



Well, This is pretty interesting - Does s/he really lies to me ?

Thank you all for your responses!
Peter Sin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2005
Posts: 547
Originally posted by Rashmi Banthia:


Well, This is pretty interesting - Does s/he really lies to me ?



Of course ! As long as you gain industry experience, you will know what I mean. Just my 2 dollar !


[ April 01, 2005: Message edited by: Peter Sin ]
Jesse Torres
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 25, 2004
Posts: 985
Have any of you ever worked with someone who lied about having a degree? On my last assignment, my co-worker claimed to have a BS CS and also claimed that he was working towards his MS / CS. He also claimed to have SCJP and SCJD. Yet he couldn't even write a simple if statement:
K Riaz
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 08, 2005
Posts: 375
Originally posted by Jesse Torres:
Have any of you ever worked with someone who lied about having a degree? On my last assignment, my co-worker claimed to have a BS CS and also claimed that he was working towards his MS / CS. He also claimed to have SCJP and SCJD. Yet he couldn't even write a simple if statement:


Have they not been found out? What does he/she do when they are given a project to work on which involves substantial programming?
danny liu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 22, 2004
Posts: 185
Have any of you ever worked with someone who lied about having a degree? On my last assignment, my co-worker claimed to have a BS CS and also claimed that he was working towards his MS / CS. He also claimed to have SCJP and SCJD.


These certificates will be checked in the last stage of the hiring process.
So you cannot lie on that.
Varun Khanna
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 30, 2002
Posts: 1400
Lie becomes a lie only when it's caught. Sad but true.


- Varun
Jerry Young
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 15, 2004
Posts: 77
I guess many statements in resumes are more exaggerations, twists, or half truths than naked lies. Most can be easily justified though a bit exaggerated.

Things like "Project lead" or "Project architect" of a one-person project.
"5 years in Java": used a little Java 5 years ago, touched once ot twice a year since then.

But if a company can not filter out someone who claims to have BS in CS and have SCJP but can't write even an if statement, something must go wrong there.

A good(smart, experienced) programmer can easily tell if another programmer is good(smart, experienced).

An interesting observation is many IT managers themselves are not techies, and they depends on some team members to interview, and sometimes the team members may not like to bring in the best candidates for understandable reasons.
Manoj Padhi
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 1
Intelligent lying is required.. i.e. if you are not employeed for a year and applying as a fresher.. then it is hard to get a job. Instead, do some real industry projects paying Rs. 5000/- or 10000/- (Embedded, telecom,MySQL,Java,C) and write them in your Bio_Data. Without this, as a fresher even getting a call is tough..
manojpadhi@gmail.com

Originally posted by Rashmi Banthia:
What do you guys think about lying on Resume - lies like - changing VisualBasic to PowerBuilder and vice versa. Lying about your experience 5yrs instead of actual 4 years.

The reason I ask is I am looking for a job and during my job hunt period I have been approached by recruiters who ask me modify my resume according to requirement. Like 5 yrs of consistent Java experience OR VB/PB experience.
I am not comfortable doing it - the fact that I'll be sitting across a table in front of a Hiring Manager and LYING scares me terribly.

Is it just me trying to be ultra-honest and the result is no job ?

I would appreciate your opinions.

Thanks!

Rashmi
Don Stadler
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 10, 2004
Posts: 451
Originally posted by Jesse Torres:
Have any of you ever worked with someone who lied about having a degree? On my last assignment, my co-worker claimed to have a BS CS and also claimed that he was working towards his MS / CS. He also claimed to have SCJP and SCJD. Yet he couldn't even write a simple if statement:


Jesse, I'm not particularly surprised that someone with a BSCS could not write a simple if-else. Some CS programs don't teach much programming at all, and if he had no project work he may have not have actually programmed for several years! And graduates can vary quite a lot in their programming abilities. The people who hang around the computer labs tend to know quite a bit.

I used to interview MSCS grads and learned some interesting things about MSCS programmes, namely that full-time programs (even in prestigious universities) can graduate people who don't know how to program. I used to ask questions about their project work and their ability usually showed up.

Some elite programs have what I call a 'programming culture', and I would definately want to talk to any graduate of one of these. MIT, Berkeley, and CMU come to mind but there are more.
Don Stadler
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 10, 2004
Posts: 451
Outright lying on your resume is a bad thing whichever way you look at it. It's not particularly moral and has the potential to get you into a LOT of hot water.

We've had long debates in the past about the ethics of 'puffery' - resume exagguration as opposed to making things up. I think you need to tell as true a story on the resume as you can about what happened from your POV.
Amit Basnak
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 15, 2004
Posts: 71
You should NEVER kie on your resume and about Experiece. Putting false experiece will have you in troubles only.
Most of the companies now have BACKGROUND Check , where they call up the HR of the respective companies which you put in your resume and they talk to your seniors under whom you had worked.
If You put fasle experience , it will be caught immediately.
Hence never lie on your resume.
Regards
Amit
soniya saxena
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 18, 2004
Posts: 300
Fact of the matter is a vast majority of the people lie. And whats the big deal. If you can lie and then manage to handle it, why not? As somebody suggested earlier, when companies paint a rosy picture about their projects and finances to the candidate, why cant the candidate lie. Job is just a kind of business; you have to lie at times to take your career forward. If you dont lie, somebody else will lie and take away the job that you wanted.

Originally posted by Amit Basnak:
You should NEVER kie on your resume and about Experiece. Putting false experiece will have you in troubles only.
Most of the companies now have BACKGROUND Check , where they call up the HR of the respective companies which you put in your resume and they talk to your seniors under whom you had worked.
If You put fasle experience , it will be caught immediately.
Hence never lie on your resume.
Regards
Amit
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
remind me to never hire you or anyone from your cultural background.
Any society which thinks a lie is perfectly OK if it brings personal advantage is a society I want to have nothing to do with.
Ashish Chopra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 30, 2004
Posts: 134
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
remind me to never hire you or anyone from your cultural background.
Any society which thinks a lie is perfectly OK if it brings personal advantage is a society I want to have nothing to do with.


I guess personal opinions must not guide your judgement about a culture!!! There have been responses from people of the same culture that say the opposite thing.

My personal belief is that lying takes you nowhere, specially if its on your resume. If you have to lie about what you are, that means there is something seriously wrong with u.


Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes<br /> <br />My blog: <a href="http://www.coherentrambling.blogspot.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.coherentrambling.blogspot.com</a>
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Maybe I should have said subculture instead of culture...
Diego Amicabile
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 12, 2004
Posts: 23
There are things you can't lie about (certifications, degrees, and so on)

There are things you SHOULD lie about, unless you have a very perfect record.

My 2 cents


SCJP 1.4(90%), SCWCD 1.2(94%), SCJD (366/400), SCBCD (91%), SCEA (88%)
Mala Sharma
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 29, 2004
Posts: 76
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
Maybe I should have said subculture instead of culture...


Maybe you should have left out culture altogether. What certain people do or say does not represent their culture in general. But, it's no surprise coming from you.

Originally posted by Kashif Riaz:
What does that say about Indian Universities if they churn out people who cannot even write the most basic of programs and yet they continue to award them degrees? That is why people laugh behind closed doors in the west when an Indian says "I have a BS in Computer Science".


Could you please tell me where he mentioned that the particular person was from india. What does that tell us about you that you would just make stuff up just to make your point. Just stick to the facts. And the subject of this topic is : Lying on Resume . It's about all the people from all cultures that lie which is immoral.

Mala
[ April 04, 2005: Message edited by: Mala Sharma ]
kayal cox
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 19, 2004
Posts: 376
Well said Mala! Thanks.
Peter Sin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2005
Posts: 547
Originally posted by Diego Amicabile:
There are things you can't lie about (certifications, degrees, and so on)

There are things you SHOULD lie about, unless you have a very perfect record.

My 2 cents


Sorry certifications even degree certificates can be faked.
Jesse Torres
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 25, 2004
Posts: 985
My co-worker, who couldn't even write a simple if else statement did have credentials to back his degree and certification experience. He either had fake credentials or wasn't a good Java programmer.
Jesse Torres
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 25, 2004
Posts: 985
Originally posted by Peter Sin:


Sorry certifications even degree certificates can be faked.


I think you are absolutely correct. Deceptive lies maybe account for the failure of projects?
Diego Amicabile
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 12, 2004
Posts: 23
Sorry certifications even degree certificates can be faked.


I am banging my head against the wall, just thought I'd let you know



But ... if you want to make sure a certification or a degree is not fake, just ask the source You can make Sun publish your certification results.
[ April 04, 2005: Message edited by: Diego Amicabile ]
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Diego Amicabile:
There are things you SHOULD lie about, unless you have a very perfect record.

My 2 cents


And what should those things be?
You might not disclose some things, but that's not a lie. It's only a lie if you mention things that aren't true.

So if you needed 5 tries to get your driver's license, there's no need to mention that and it wouldn't be a lie.
But if you were put in jail for fraud and you try to cover that up by stating you were employed at a company that has since conveniently gone bankrupt, that's a lie. Just state you were unemployed without giving specifics (if they do a background check they'll find out anyway, and if not you have no legal obligation to tell the circumstances of your unemployment).
Diego Amicabile
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 12, 2004
Posts: 23
Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:


And what should those things be?


I usually don't really lie on my resume, but interviews are another matter

Q: Why should I hire you?
A: I am the best person for the job (Everybody is)

Q :Are you a team player?
A : Very much so. (Everybody is. Why do they even ask?)

Q: Have you ever had a conflict with a boss or professor?
A: Just minor disagreements...

Q: What is your greatest weakness? (Enough said. That reminds me of a Dilbert joke)

Q: If I were to ask your professors to describe you, what would they say?
A: (Why don't you ask them?)


These are pretty common questions during an interview. Do you really believe you can answer all of them without ever telling a little lie ?
(I think some can, most can't)
And of course some of the little lies do creep into your resume.

But I guess all of you already know that and I read too much Pinocchio as a child
Paul Sturrock
Bartender

Joined: Apr 14, 2004
Posts: 10336

As you point out though, those are pretty worthless, empty, HR questions. And they ask for subjective answers - there is no truth to be had, so how can you lie? But if you put "Expert in Struts based web apps" on your CV, and the interviewer asks you to "draw a diagram describing the MVC pattern and point out how these relate to the Struts framework" the only way you can "lie" your way out of that is if you do indeed actually understand MVC and can apply it using Struts. If you could do that I'd be more inclined to accept your claims about this specific piece of technical knowledge on your CV - if there is a lie about how much experience you have with Struts, that's somewhat secondary to understanding what it is, what it does and how to apply it.
Anselm Paulinus
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 05, 2003
Posts: 389
I read sometime ago that it takes hiring managers on average of two seconds of the candidate stepping into the interview room for them to make a decision on the candidate. I even made a posting here on JavarRanch because it was unbelievable to me.

In essence the interview or screening exercise is mere formality; have you been to a technical screening before where every body, even the interviewer congratulated you on your knowledge; yet you did not get the job?

The bottom line is hiring manager do not care if you lied or not on your resume as they make up their mind even before you have the opportunity to sit down. Some one only need to like your gut; and you are hired, else continue praying for that special someone, they do not care about what you have on your resume or what you have done for the past five years. You just need to be likeable; others are mere formalities, once we were chatting about soccer in an interview session I attended; guess what I still got the job.
Rashmi Banthia
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 22, 2003
Posts: 79
Here's one experience - I'll never forget :
I got a job last year after going through 3 interviews (2 in person + 1 tech phone screening) . I must mention that I did not lie on my resume, so ofcourse I was as confident as I could be during the interview.
During the interview we talked about technical stuff and talked about other things also - from olympics to Do we own a house in Atlanta ?

Now the surprise: a call from HR, to decide the date when I could join and informed me that they'll send the offer letter. At that moment they realized they couldn't sponsor my visa (H1B). This is not something I was hiding during the first 3 interviews. Before going for 1st in person interview - I did inform HR and they said come on over. I did talk about it during the interview too.
OfCourse I can't work in US without the Visa - so the conclusion is I still don't have job. What do I call this - unlucky ??

Before I vent further, I am looking for paid OR non-paid (volunteer work till I land a paid work) work in Atlanta, GA. My resume is available here . Any help appreciated.

Thanks a lot for your responses,
Regards,
Rashmi
K Riaz
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 08, 2005
Posts: 375
Originally posted by Rashmi Banthia:
At that moment they realized they couldn't sponsor my visa (H1B).


That is why I consider HR to be a bunch of incompetent idiots. They know nothing. You have every right to feel disappointed.

P.S. You have worked on some good open source projects and have good commercial experience. I'm pretty sure you could land offers here in London (you have all the core skills and use all the right tools which is rare). People with less credientials have landed good roles. Can't speak for the US though.
[ April 05, 2005: Message edited by: Kashif Riaz ]
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Anselm Paulinus:

In essence the interview or screening exercise is mere formality; have you been to a technical screening before where every body, even the interviewer congratulated you on your knowledge; yet you did not get the job?


I've had worse... At one point I went to an interview, the interviewer said he'd recommend I be hired.
When I got home the rejection letter was waiting in my mailbox and dated 2 days earlier.
Sania Marsh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 12, 2004
Posts: 469
I once was asked to find a person to fill a position in my company, I found one, and I told to HR that he is on H1, they continued interviewing.
Few days later I got a call from HR telling that the person I talked to confused H1 with T1(internet connection) and they don't hire non-residents.
Ranjith Rajgopal
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 07, 2005
Posts: 5
Hi

I first heard about lying on resumes way back in 2000 in the US. In india people call it "faking". But in the US, people used to call it "projecting".

The reason for it being dumb HR policies. B-schools teach MBA people to measure everything quantitatively. But they never understand that there are "somethings" which are beyond these numbers. They assume eveyone with say 5 years experience are equally competent. It is as dumb as assuming every one who passes 10th standard get same number of marks.

Now, consider a person who could not get a job for 1 year after graduating and manages to get an interview after 1 year. In the interview, the interviewer asks what he has done in that 1 year. If he says the truth that he was looking for work, it definitely creates negative opinion about the person even if he is good, and he is compelled to lie. So, it is coporates who create people with "fake/projected" resumes. Also, corporates want to "project" themseleves before their clients as "we have so many people with so much experience"!!!.

Also, please don't question a culture/subculture...what ever the name you give because you tend to forget ethics when you are hungry and have no money to get some food. Atleast be happy that they are not turning anti-social elements.

Sorry if I hurt anyone.

Thanks
Murali Mohan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 07, 2003
Posts: 47
S that is true.

Companies are �projecting" us, so why can't we ourselves???

But these types of things keep u under pressure and I had an experience with it.

I am working for one of the top 5 companies in India (It is a CMM Level 5 company). When I went to Singapore and came to US also, my resume has been modified by my manager accordingly the requirement.

I had exp in J2EE but my CV has been modified with PHP experience also as client requirement is in J2EE & PHP. More over I was not informed this thing.

I went to onsite did 1 project in Java. But suddenly client asked me to do the next project in PHP. I came to know, client was informed that I had experience in PHP and Java. I felt so much pressure. Immediately, I had to learn the PHP and did it. PHP is easy, so I implemented some how. If it is some difficult technology, how would be my situation and company reputation?

But for the sake of money companies are "projecting" us to keep us in front of client. So there is no mistake in "projecting" ourselves as long as we r able to fulfill the requirement.

Regards,
Murali
 
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