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Look Who Is Committing Resume Inflation Now!

Earlier this year I wrote on the not-so-questionable ethics of "exaggerating" claims on your resume and asked readers to share their own experiences. Only one person admitted a slight stretch of the truth.

It turns out fluffing the curriculum vitae may be a little more common -- and reach a little higher in the executive suite -- than we thought.

A recent Wall Street Journal report confirms research by corporate fraud investigator Barry Minkow, who found resume discrepancies for execs at Trimble Navigation, Cabot Microelectronics, Knight Capital Group, and Helix Energy Solutions Group.

Is professional puffism on the increase? Harvard Business Review editor Julia Kirby, writing on the Perils of the Padded Resume, thinks not.

"Some studies have supported the alarming claim that resume fraud is on the rise," Kirby observes. "More likely, though, is that the spate of cases we are seeing is a one-time phenomenon."

She thinks Minkow is going back in time to discover mistakes made by now prominent but then inexperienced job seekers.

"The perpetrators tend to be people who typed up their first resumes before the age of transparency was even conceivable. Not many entry-level candidates preparing their first CVs would expect to get away with it today."
Still, a lie not corrected is still a lie. Kirby asks her readers for opinions on what the penalty should be for someone caught misleading an employer? My thought: How about starting with the loss of their job. After all, if someone is going to fudge about their career accomplishments, how can I trust them on other matters?
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