Mar 1, 2006

Liar, liar

Is your resume fiction or nonfiction?
Is there ever a time in your life when you are more tempted to gloss over the blips and bumps of your past and pad your strengths?

The Internet firm, which for a fee will help people create a resume, looked into this. Company co-founder Mike Worthington says the site, which receives thousands of resumes every day, picked 1,000 of them and spent six months checking simple facts like education, length of previous employment, and job titles and duties.

Last week, the company released its findings, reporting how many it found that contained one or more significant inaccuracies.

"I thought, in all honesty,'' Worthington says, "that we would be looking at about 15 percent.''

It was 42.7 percent. Nearly half.

LaShawn Barber confesses to having fibbed on her resume when looking for a job in DC: Although her computer skills amounted to a passing familiarity with MS Word, she claimed she was a computer programmer.

And she got called on it.

That's what keeps my resume (mostly) honest. Oh sure, I've burnished the truth: I may not have been "instrumental" in getting a certain project off the ground when in reality all I did was attend a couple of meetings; I may have fudged dates by a month or so in order to minimize gaps in my employment history. But the basic facts are, er, factual as regards to schooling, skills and employment history. I'd be too afraid that I'd find myself in LaShawn's position--or worse--to out-and-out lie.

Shame. It keeps me honest. Really. I'm always amazed when someone like Winona Ryder gets caught stealing and continues on with her public life. I'd run away to the Hundred-Acre Wood and live under the name of Sanders if I got caught stealing and it made the news.

The truth is: I'm a coward.

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