Little Lies


I read an article last week that discussed people using fake reference companies to pump up their work history.  I chuckled at it. Part of me wanted to be surprised and shocked by it, but that didn’t happen.  I was neither surprised nor shocked. References are important, but no more important than the other parts to someone’s candidacy – good experience, ability to pass pre-screening requirements, skills testing, etc.

What was surprising to me was (what I interpreted as) the author’s “Understanding” of why someone would do it.  (Caveat:  the author of the article made it very clear that they do NOT condone the actions listed in the article.) That being said, I don’t understand it. I’m not okay with someone falsifying their history, or making up portions to make them seem like a better candidate than they are.  I’ll never understand that aspect of humanity. It exists, but I’ll never understand it. I can’t even empathize with it.  Do it the right way, or don’t do it.

I have this opinion (it’s my opinion, no one else’s), that if someone wants to beat “the system,” they will.  They’ll find a way – just like “nature finds a way” (from Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park) – meaning, eventually all things have a way of balancing themselves out, regardless of our intentions (honest or otherwise).  You could be discussing Drug Testing in Major League Baseball or Cycling, kids copying answers in school, speeding on the highway, various cases of worker’s compensation fraud, or even embezzlement. The list could go on and on.

Eventually, these habits will catch up with you – the ball player, the kid in school, the person who ends up with the speeding ticket. The recruiting world is no different.  There are people who want to create their little white lie, or embellishment about their experience or even use a company to make their work history seem more solid than it is.  Good recruiters will inevitably ask questions that will reveal the inconsistency, or when push comes to shove, and the candidate is asked to do something at work, and can’t complete the tasks that they said they could, it all comes out.

There’s a quote that has been around for ages that says, “The more you lie, the more you have to remember.”  I don’t know who said it, so please forgive me – I’d be happy to credit the original source.  The point is, if you keep honest, and present the best “you” possible, you’ll be able to focus in on your strengths, and not worry about who might find out about this or that.  You won’t have to worry if that little inconsistency will cost you your job.  You might know someone who got away with it in the past, but as with all things, what goes around, comes around; even the little lies.


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