What job-seekers can learn from Yahoo CEO fired for lying on resume

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by Meredith Yeomans

azfamily.com

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 9:24 AM

Updated Thursday, May 17 at 5:34 PM

PHOENIX -- After just four months on the job, Yahoo's CEO is out. Scott Thompson resigned Sunday after it was revealed he lied on his résumé.

Turns out, Thompson doesn't have a degree in computer science as he claimed.

“It’s unfortunate that for whatever reason he chose to include that falsehood on his résumé,” said Brad Taft with Phoenix-based Taft Resource Group.

Taft is a career consultant who helps job-seekers, like David King, beef up their résumés.

“I completely believe in being totally and completely honest on that résumé,” King said.

While Taft acknowledges a certain amount of so-called "puffery" on résumés is needed to stand out, he says flat-out lying on a résumé can land you in big trouble.

He says the most applicants should do to "puff-up" their background is to play up past experience to match the job they want.

Don't be afraid to leave information off your résumé either, he said. Employers aren't interested in everything you've done. They want to see you're capable of getting results.

“It's information that you're communicating to an employer to match up those aspects of your background that they're looking for,” Taft said.

During your interview, Taft also said it's important to be able to demonstrate and tell stories about your experience. Don't just list it on a résumé.

He reveals verifying college degrees, like what got Yahoo's CEO into trouble, is easy. All employers have to do is call the school and ask.

Like Scott Thompson, Taft said lying on a résumé can not only cost you your current job, but also your reputation as an honest person for life.

“Definitely tell the truth on their résumé,” he said. “Realize that it is a document you can massage, you can change, as long as you're keeping it truthful.”

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