What should you do if you got a job by using a fake resume?

To err is human…


*Jack was looking visibly concerned. He was looking at a mail that talked about the integrity policy of the company. He further clicked links to check the company Conduct & Discipline Rules document.

Hearing people talk about the document and stories about employees who got sacked due to violation of rules, Jack got even more nervous. He wondered what would happen if his documents get verified someday? What if the company gets to know that he had faked his resume.

This may seem to be a rare condition but is actually not that uncommon. Most employees inflate their resumes in some form or another. Companies verify claims through different means before the interview. They also try their best to corroborate candidate claims during interviews.

Yet, verifying everything can be a little difficult. Many candidates make it into companies through fake resumes and achievements.

Is lying on resume a good idea?

There are better alternatives

I students and professionals not to fake anything in the resume. There are better means of displaying achievements. Using the Challenge-Action-Result framework, you can actually portray your story quite well.

Truth is only one

Another reason you should not lie in the resume is that you don’t have to think twice while interviewing. Whatever you have done in real life is what you have put on the resume. Thus, your claims would be consistent.

So, if you ask me – “ Honesty is the best policy when it comes to resumes.”

What if you have already lied?

What if you have already eaten the ‘forbidden fruit’? Is there a way you can protect your interests still?

Well, here are some pieces of advice for you –

a) Master your job and its deliverables.

Deliver the best in history. No company would like to fire an extraordinary performer. Be an unmatched problem solver for the company.

This is how you do it –

  • Analyze data, discover the success cases from past data, and repeat successful approaches.
  • Analyze failure cases, write causes of failure and possible corrections. Take actions and improve. Then analyze again.
  • Repeat until you achieve top-notch performance.

b) Never fake your resume from now on.

You can write your own story in a way that it comes across as a victory story. Think more about how you have solved problems in your earlier firms. Display your thinking and action capability instead of inflating numbers.

c) What to do if they find out?

A large part of being an adult decision maker is owning up to your mistakes. People make all sorts of mistakes. Even great leaders make silly mistakes.

In his early entrepreneurial days, Richard Branson almost went to jail once while trying to evade tax to grow the business fast.

So, behave like an adult and face the music. While it completely depends on the committee which takes action and so I can’t comment on that.

Though in my experience, I have seen that companies are also afraid of bad light in such cases. Thus, they ask the employee to resign instead of issuing a termination letter.

Either way, it is not in your control what they can do. What’s in your control is to learn and grow as fast as you can. So, even if they fire you, you have your resume and hard work to get yourself a good job.

I would recommend that you focus on your work instead of worrying over this issue. This is in the past and best left there.

Has someone in your experience been in such a condition? Share in the comments what happened in the situation.

Write to me in case you need any help in job-related situations.

(*Names changed.)