Is resume padding a firing offense?

May 5, 2012

Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson delivers a speech.

Scott Thompson, who was hired to be Yahoo’s CEO in January, inaccurately stated his academic credentials on his resume. Apparently, Thompson indicated that he had received a BA in accounting and computer science from Stonehill College at a time when the college didn’t grant BA degrees in computer science. Yahoo reacted by calling the misstatement “an inadvertent error,” but has since begun an investigation.

Thompson is not the first high profile executive to fudge credentials on a resume. Michael Brown, President George W. Bush’s appointee to the head of FEMA was found to have lied about being a professor and working as a director of a nursing home. But the news highlights a problem that all organizations face when hiring.


How do you vet prospective employees and how do you guard against resume padding? Have you ever found out that one of your employees lied on their resume? Should someone be fired for failing to provide an accurate resume? Have you ever padded your resume? Were you found out, or did you sneak under the radar and get the job? There’s a fine line between promoting oneself and padding a resume, but where is it exactly?

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