October 6, 2010 5:19 pm at 5:19 pm #592546
How much can one bluff on a resume? What is the likelihood of it being realized at an interview? What if you create a completely made-up resume, including fake work history, practice – and know – your story well (and even have fake references to back you up if necessary)?
The consequences of doing so are either getting the job you would not have otherwise, or not getting it because they noticed the bluff. In the latter case, you almost surely wouldn’t have gotten that job anyways (and probably wouldn’t have even gotten the interview in the first place), so there seems only to be an upside (other than some embarrassment if they point the bluff out, which they usually don’t anyways – they’ll just reject your candidacy without explanation.)
Of course if, in the less than likely event, you are later caught (after getting the job) there is a high probability of being fired. But remember, you wouldn’t have gotten the job in the first place otherwise.
My question is primarily on the practicality of this issue, and I would like the discussion to focus on that, but feel free to discuss the ethics as well.October 6, 2010 5:21 pm at 5:21 pm #699987
Bluffing is a no-no
Embellishing is a given.October 6, 2010 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #699988charliehallParticipant
Lying on a resume is one of the worst things you can do. You will probably get caught, and lose the job. And it will give the employer pause before considering other Orthodox Jews.October 6, 2010 5:31 pm at 5:31 pm #699989theprof1Participant
DO NOT BLUFF, that is make up a story, education experience etc. Like squeak said, you can embellish. on an actual experience add some fluff.October 6, 2010 5:32 pm at 5:32 pm #699990WIYMember
MIDVAR SHEKER “TIRCHAK!” Enough said.October 6, 2010 5:39 pm at 5:39 pm #699991
Thanks for the input. I agree it is ethically wrong.
What are the practical consequences?October 6, 2010 5:45 pm at 5:45 pm #699992frumeyidParticipant
One consequence that comes to mind is that you are hired for the job, and three years into your career, you are fired because they need to downsize and found out you lied and were hired under false pretenses. And good luck when you go try and get a new job and they ask about you at the first place…October 6, 2010 5:57 pm at 5:57 pm #699993
Good point. Though I addressed it in the OP. You get fired from a job you would never have otherwise have had. And for the next job, if necessary, you are back to square one. You could even claim you are still working for your last employer, and they cannot call since you haven’t informed you are seeking to leave them. Alternatively, you can start the game from scratch.
My point is the practical consequences.October 6, 2010 6:00 pm at 6:00 pm #699994telegrokMember
The moral, ethical, and halachig implications of “bluffing” are clear, and need not be discussed (though perhaps, as discussed in a different CR thread, we might take a Kotzker approach and call it what it is: lying).
That aside, consider the following: a person fibs/bluffs/lies on his/her resume to boast of academic or prior work training. He/she is hired on that basis. Subsequently, the person is asked to assume responsibility for a project that demands the experience the “lie” purported to confer. Project fails. (1) person is professionally compromised, to say the least; (2) person could conceivably cause losses for the company or pull others down with him.
There is nothing wrong with using positive descriptive language to trumpet your accomplishments, or to use grand adjectvies to describe you achievements. But you cannot out-and-out lie.
We klop an al cheit on yom kippur for the type of speech that is intended to give a false impression of the facts. Perhaps the following should be our guide: would it be a resume you would submit to the RbS”O?October 6, 2010 6:05 pm at 6:05 pm #699995
So assuming the guy had no ethics or religion, and was only out for himself, his issue will be his compromising his professional name — assuming both that he was hired and later caught?October 6, 2010 6:10 pm at 6:10 pm #6999962qwertyParticipant
If you believe that parnasa comes from Hashem then whats the purpose to lie?
With a lie you might get a higher salary but if you werent supposed to get it Hashem will probably make you lose it in some way. Why would you want to go through that headache?October 6, 2010 6:20 pm at 6:20 pm #699998yaff80Participant
To quote Winston Churchill – “The best part of being honest is you dont need to have a good memory!”
When lying either in a resume or to a spouse or any other human being, you end up spiraling further and deeper into lies until you reach a dead end – often drowning at the bottom of the sea!
Stay honest, you will only gain in the long run.
This is of course besides the ethical and halachic importance.October 6, 2010 6:44 pm at 6:44 pm #699999mamashtakahMember
I saw someone who claimed to have a college degree, but didn’t. He was hired, and fired two weeks later when he couldn’t produce a degree or transcript.
Remember, that often you will have to fill out an application in addition to submitting a resume. When you complete the application, there is usually a line at the end where you sign, and it says something about everything on the application being true.October 6, 2010 8:18 pm at 8:18 pm #700000
Mamashtakah, this has happened to very high officials, and one often reads of the consequences in the paper. You probably could not only lose the job, but be taken to court, as well. I wonder if they can go after any salary they have paid you.October 6, 2010 8:26 pm at 8:26 pm #700001
Another quote by Winston Churchill: A lady once told him he was drunk. He replied, “Well you are ugly, and tomorrow I will be sober.”October 6, 2010 8:33 pm at 8:33 pm #700002
the same lady as in the above story
it was lady astor
sitting next to him at a banquet she said: if you were my husband i would feed you poison
he answered: madam if you were my wife i would gladly drink itOctober 6, 2010 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm #700003oomisParticipant
No, no no – don’t do it.October 7, 2010 1:19 am at 1:19 am #700004artchillParticipant
A good HR person and professional manager would pick up on the bluff.
Having conducted thousands of interviews, bluff is easily identifiable and can be picked apart feather by feather. Depending on the industry, once you are exposed you might as well leave town. You will NEVER break into the field.
Don’t be stupid!
Experienced, professional managers are trained to spot a dreykup and tear them to shreds.October 7, 2010 1:36 am at 1:36 am #700005d aMember
What happens if the guy hiring you calls one of your supposed work places to find out about you?October 7, 2010 1:39 am at 1:39 am #700006HelpfulMember
If the guy would be unemployed otherwise, it does buy him time on the job (assuming he is technically competant for it), until he’s caught. And that’s IF he’s ever caught. But either way, he had a job for X number of years (or months) that he otherwise would not of. And in a big city like NY, unless your a top exec or something like that, no one outside the company will be the wiser.October 7, 2010 4:49 am at 4:49 am #700007mamashtakahMember
“If the guy would be unemployed otherwise, it does buy him time on the job (assuming he is technically competant for it), until he’s caught. And that’s IF he’s ever caught. But either way, he had a job for X number of years (or months) that he otherwise would not of.”
It could also get the person arrested, prosecuted, a permanent record, jail time, a huge law suit, etc. What you’re talking about here can be a *felony.* Is it really worth it? (And this is not even including the halachic implications.)October 7, 2010 4:53 am at 4:53 am #700008myfriendMember
mamashtakah, it isn’t a felony. This is a civil matter, not criminal. The corporations basically just fire the guy and leave it at that. This is a common issue, and I’ve never seen it go further than firing.October 7, 2010 1:19 pm at 1:19 pm #700009
What artchill said. Which is why you shouldn’t bother, even if ethics and consequences mean nothing to you.October 7, 2010 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm #700010
What artchill described will very probably occur. But it just may not. If it does occur, you’re back to where you started, no worse.October 7, 2010 2:19 pm at 2:19 pm #700011
Right. It’s like buying a lottery ticket. When it doesn’t pay off, you’re no worse off than before.October 7, 2010 2:30 pm at 2:30 pm #700012
I think you may be worse off than before.
When I landed an interview with a company one of the interviewers brought a copy of every version of my resume that I ever submitted. (I made updates as I furthered my education and received professional certifications.)October 7, 2010 5:26 pm at 5:26 pm #700013
That doesn’t change the dynamics I mentioned. In your scenario they simply reject offering you the position you otherwise would not have been offered (or even interviewed for.) So I don’t see how he is worse off in your scenerio.
BTW, why did you summit more than one version to the same company?October 7, 2010 5:36 pm at 5:36 pm #700014
Let’s say you send in a resume indicating that you went to University of BLAH BLAH. There are no openings so you don’t get an interview.
Then you actually get a degree from a legitimate place and update your resume indicating that. Now you submit a new resume for a position you are qualified for. They toss it in the garbage because they see that you lied in the past.
BTW- Yes I did submit more than one version but the contents were always true.October 7, 2010 5:46 pm at 5:46 pm #700015
It may be a form of fraud. If one misrepresents himself and conducts a business deal, he is defrauding the other party.
I know in Israel one frum politician was put in jail after he listed having received a doctorate. What he did was he went into the reception room of his department in the university, pulled out a sample thesis that had been written by a graduate years earlier, photocopied it, put on a new title page, and then submitted it.
The main mistake he made was that it was written in the feminine gender (in Hebrew), and he was a male. But aside from that, how could anybody think one can write a thesis without a committee, a proposal, an advisor and constant commmittee meetings all along to formulate an idea and to continually gauge progress during the research and writing phases. What about the defense?
I thought this story was one of the funniest I ever read, but it is true.October 7, 2010 7:56 pm at 7:56 pm #700017ZachKessinMember
Don’t do it! I can’t speak to all fields but in any technical field it will be caught in the interview or before. I would guess that in most cases it will just result in you not getting the job, but really don’t do it. Remember many facts can be checked these days with google in about 2 minutes!
However you should always get someone else to edit your resume. If you have spelling mistakes or the like on it it will end up in the trash. Always remember that the person reading it has a pile of them on his or her desk and has to find the four or five good ones to interview. So spending time making it look good is time well spent. If you don’t have work experience there are still things you can do. Look on monster and some of the other job hunting sites for ideas.October 7, 2010 8:34 pm at 8:34 pm #700018
The consensus appears to be that he won’t get the job, but if he is an irreligious unethical guy, he will have nothing to lose (except, perhaps, a few minutes of embarrassment.) On the other hand, there is a small possibility it might work. (And then he MIGHT lose the job that he would otherwise never have had.)
Obviously you can’t fool what knowledge, technical or otherwise, you have as you’ll need it to perform the functions of the position. But as far as work and educational history, that is another ballpark.
Looking at past actual instances of this, it seems some high level, including upper management, occurrences of this nature resulted in the person losing (usually resigning) their job. It’s usually found when they are promoted, and a press release issued touting their educational accomplishments, that someone realizes is a fib. Lower level positions you don’t usually read about, since they might simply be dismissed, but it is also more likely to fall under the radar.October 7, 2010 8:40 pm at 8:40 pm #700019
You may have missed my post up above. You may have nothing to lose in the short run but you definitely have what to lose in the long run.October 7, 2010 8:49 pm at 8:49 pm #700020
“What are the practical consequences?”
Depending on what you lie about, you can go to jail. Most things you would lie about dont violate any laws, so there is no criminal activity to prosecute. However, there are certain fields where lying may constitute criminal activity. Lying to get security clearance, lying about a license in a profession where a license is required by law come to mind.
Criminal law aside. If you lie to obtain a job, and your employer finds out, you lose all legal protection from the laws that cover an employer/employee relaitonship. You will be fired for cause, which means you dont collect unemployment and you will likely not have an easy time getting another job, unless you lie yet again to your next employer.
Criminal and civil law aside, as soon as you lie, you violate the torahs command of midvar sheker tirchak.October 7, 2010 9:18 pm at 9:18 pm #700021
My neighbor the lawyer just told me that if you sign your name on an application where you affirm that all information is true to the best of your knowledge, and you are caught lying, you have committed perjury and if a prospective employer had it in for you, could take legal action against you although it is easier, faster and a whole lot cheaper to show you the door and not let you back in.
He also told me that in the state of NJ (as well as a few other states, but he is unsure which) there is a law on the books that makes it illegal to lie on a job application (even if you dont “sign here” to confirm everything you wrote is true). Again, will you be prosecuted for it? Probably not.October 7, 2010 9:34 pm at 9:34 pm #700022
i dont believe it
it is not in a court of law
you did not take an oath
there is no secular law about lying to someone
perjury is lying under oath in a court of lawOctober 7, 2010 9:36 pm at 9:36 pm #700023
You seem a little nervous there- did you fudge some info on your YWN moderator application?October 7, 2010 9:53 pm at 9:53 pm #700024SRPsychMember
You guys are so funny. Arguing about whether it is OK to “bluff” on a CV… What about the guy working out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue who bluffed on his BIRTH CERTIFICATE???
Frankly, I’d say, all religious values aside – he has set an excellent example for us all to follow!October 7, 2010 9:58 pm at 9:58 pm #700025WIYMember
Maskim. Perjury is only in court. If I ever need a lawyer I hope he knows that much!October 8, 2010 1:16 pm at 1:16 pm #700026
Perjury is the legal definition for lying under oath (anywhere). You can be prosecuted for lying to Congress during a hearing, for example. If you sign a job application that says “I affirm that the information presented is correct to the best of my knowledge”, its as if you are taking an oath (or an affirmation for those who dont take oaths for religious reasons) that you are telling the truth. A resume where you don’t have this problem can still get you in trouble for fraud. Fraud is misrepresenting something, for financial gain. So, lying for a job on a resume can get you into trouble for fraud while lying on an application can also get you into trouble for perjury. in either case, the likelihood of an actual prosecution is minimal, because it isnt worth the time or effort to prosecute.
In any event, the short term gain is almost never worth the long term problems caused by lying. Most importantly, it violates the torahs mandate of midvar sheker tirchak (there is no asterisk that says “but for financial gain its muttar”).October 8, 2010 4:45 pm at 4:45 pm #700027
Interesting discussion, but off topic. There is no potential for perjury unless applying for a government position.
Dr. Pepper, I reread your comment. I still fail to see it. Even in your unusual example (applying to the same company with different resumes at different times and they filed the older ones), at most you don’t get what you otherwise would not have gotten (or later lose what you wouldn’t have gotten in the first place).October 8, 2010 4:56 pm at 4:56 pm #700028
I’m not sure what you don’t understand.
After you get a legitimate degree and you apply for a job that you are qualified for- if you previously submitted a bluffed resume you may lose out on that opportunity. Had you not submitted a bluffed resume you may have a good chance at that position.October 8, 2010 4:58 pm at 4:58 pm #700029
Darchei Noam, at this point it’s just grasping at straws. If you do get caught (the opinon of those with experience here is that it is mainly a matter of ‘when’), you have made a serious error that could come back to bite you later in your career (and there’s no way of knowing now how or in what way that could happen. There is a good reason why experts recommend never burning bridges (even if you’ve been mistreated and are resigning).
What seems to be unanimous here is that it does NOT PAY to lie on your resume/application UNLESS all of the following apply:
1) You have no religious ethics
2) You have no moral compunctions/ethics
3) You are applying for a low level, low visibility job (so being caught won’t have any immediate ramifications other than termination)
4) You are not averse to the risk that the incident will come up later in life (e.g. one of your future clients or co-workers at a future job is from that place and remembers)
5) (Most important) You have nothing truthful of significant value to put on your resume/application
A mentch with all these qualities I have no words to describe.October 8, 2010 5:03 pm at 5:03 pm #700030
Perjury is the legal definition for lying under oath (anywhere)
i can administer 10 oaths of truthfulness to you and have you sign 10 attestations that you didnt borrow my pen, and have all this witnessed, and when you admit you borrowed my pen you cannot be prosecuted for perjury. government invasiveness has not yet reached such as a ridiculous level as applying perjury to 2 private parties. whether individuals or an private businesses.
fraud? it depends, but perjury? noOctober 8, 2010 5:26 pm at 5:26 pm #700031
n. the crime of intentionally lying after being duly sworn (to tell the truth) by a notary public, court clerk or other government official. This false statement may be made in testimony in court, administrative hearings, depositions, answers to interrogatories.October 10, 2010 1:50 am at 1:50 am #700032
I believe squeak summed it up nicely. If one is applying for a low level, low visibility job (I would say $75,000 per annum or less), isn’t concerned about if negatively affecting him later in life (i.e. he’s desperate for a job), AND he has a very poor work history (i.e. on and off jobs very frequently), that would be the only situation where it would be less than preposterous to consider.
But as stated by him and others, there is no ethical, moral, and certainly religious justification to it in any event.October 11, 2010 12:34 am at 12:34 am #700033
80. Your googling skills are remarkable. Speak to a lawyer. Depending on the state you live in, you may be surprised what thay can go after you for. I was told, but did not confirm (perhaps with your googling skills you can assist here) that in the state of NJ it is against the law to lie on a resume/job application and if someone chose to can go after you for just that. There is no need even, to classify it under anything else.October 11, 2010 8:27 pm at 8:27 pm #700034WolfishMusingsParticipant
Ultimately, does it matter whether or not you can be prosecuted? Lying is still forbidden.
The WolfOctober 11, 2010 8:40 pm at 8:40 pm #700035bein_hasdorimParticipant
well.. volunteering at the local soup kitchen, handing out toys for kids.
Then there’s dancing for the blind, & singing for the deaf,
marathons with the paralized. walking with the dead.
Today there really are many opportunities to help the others despite any lack of talent or creativity, yes, it’s a feel good world. Jump in at any time. You wont regret it, No one will complain. BECOME A VOLUNTEER.
(idk what this has 2do w/ op, whatever)October 11, 2010 8:46 pm at 8:46 pm #700036
Wolf- the discussion is based on an assumption of the absense of self-regulation (i.e. morals) by the individual.October 11, 2010 8:58 pm at 8:58 pm #700037
Someone more knowledgeable than me (that would be just about everyone) might know with more certainty and better clarity.
I remember hearing that R’ Moshe z’l says in a tshuva that is brought down in Igors Moshe that among other things, cheating on an exam is a form of stealing because you are taking something you are not entitled to from someone who is entitled to it. For some reason, I remember the context as being cheating on an entrance examination, but I dont see how a job application or resume would be different. Am I making things up?
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