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Honesty Always Best Policy When Writing Up Your Resume

Honesty Always Best Policy When Writing Up Your Resume

Molly Selvin | Los Angeles Times

David Edmondson’s 11-year career with RadioShack Corp. tanked in 2006, when misrepresentations he had made about his education came to light. He had been the company’s president and chief executive.

They are hardly alone.

An annual employer survey turned up “inconsistencies” in the work histories of nearly half of job seekers last year, with 20 percent of applicants providing false or misleading information about their educational credentials. Discrepancies in verifying past employment were up 12 percent over 2005 and up 7 percent involving education, the poll by Kroll Background Screening and Fraud Solutions showed.

“It’s astonishing to me the kind of things that people try to fabricate,” said Scott Viebranz, Kroll’s chief sales officer. “They don’t believe it will be found.”

Job hunters should be forgiven for feeling like they are criminals before they even get to the interview. But increasingly, employers are looking to protect their reputations and deflect any liability if they unwittingly hire a crook or a fraudster. So job offers routinely come with a big string attached—passing a background screen.

PricewaterhouseCoopers recruiters thought they had bagged a terrific job candidate until a check found he hadn’t attended the college where he said he had earned his undergraduate degree.

“We gave him a chance to provide documentation,” said Jennifer Allyn, a human resources manager for the accounting giant. “He said he was in some dispute with the school and concocted a whole story that made no sense.”

The company rescinded the offer.