Monday, September 29, 2014

8 Famous Resume Lies & Tips to Help You Clean Your Own Resume - Part 2

People do lie on their resumes, and some most famously!  (See Part 1 of this series for some news worthy examples).

The most common reason people fall into this trap is out of fear that they won’t get the job unless they lie.  They believe their qualifications are lacking, so they “embellish”.

In other cases, they simply want to take the easy way out.  Instead of doing the work or putting in the time, they simply fabricate accomplishments.

However, no matter what the lie, it is best to operate under the assumption that you will be found out.  And when HR managers even suspect you are being less than truthful, the chance of you landing the job plummets.

But what if you have already fabricated information on your resume? What can you do?

Do You roll the dice and hope you won’t get caught?  Do you go back and try to correct your resume while still keeping yourself in the running for the job?

It boils down to have limited choices.  None come without consequences, but what they can do is give you a way to move forward. 

4 Things You can Do if You Have Lied on Your Resume:

Choice 1 ~ You can Do Nothing
Choosing to do nothing means you are opting to wait it out and hoping you won’t get caught.  The danger is if at any time in the future your deception is discovered, you can be fired or, at the very least, embarrassed.
There is also the possibility that the ramifications can resonate. People talk, and it is unlikely that other employers won’t find out.  

Choice 2 ~ You can Resubmit an Updated Resume
If you choose this option, you must update anything in your resume where you were less than truthful. This could mean fixing dates of employment or job titles, re-wording your accomplishments, etc.  

It is important that you supply your interviewer with this revised copy. Be sure to explain that you noticed some errors and wanted them to have an updated copy.

While this might take you out of the running for the job, you most likely won’t have burned any bridges.

Choice 3 ~ You can Tell the Truth
The risk you take here is that you will most likely blow your chance of getting hired. The plus is that you can now move forward again in your job search ~ as long as you make sure to correct all the errors on your resume before applying!

However, if you are lucky enough to be given a second chance, at least you will not have to look over your shoulder for the shoe to drop.

Choice 4 ~ You can Withdraw Your Application
This, by far, is the safest option. With each of the other choices, you take the chance that you will lose the job, either now or when they find out in the future.

You don’t have to explain why. It is best to just say thank you, but that you are no longer interested in the position. This allows you an easy exit.

Each of these 4 choices deal with a fabricated resume after the fact. However, your absolute best option is to be honest on your resume in the first place.

So before you fall into this trap, 
get your resume “background check ready” with these tipsThere is no doubt that having a resume that can withstand scrutiny is your best defense.

As a Cautionary Tale, we leave you with these “Outrageous Resume Lies” found in actual resumes and cover letters via 

Have You ever Lied on a Resume? Would You? What is the craziest resume lie you have ever seen? Share them here!

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Monday, September 22, 2014

8 Famous Resume Lies & Tips to Help You Keep Your Resume Clean

Have You Heard of these 8 Famous Resume Lies?

Robert Irvine ~ Food Network host of “Dinner Impossible
In 2008, Robert Irvine was caught embellishing his work history and lost his television show, “Dinner Impossible”. While Irvine correctly listed that he worked for the White House and Britain’s Royal Family; he did not create Princess Diana’s wedding cake, cook White House Dinners, and he never knighted by the queen.

Despite Irvine’s very public fallout, he was invited back to the Food Network in 2009 and currently hosts his own show. However, the embarrassment of being caught in his lies lingers.

Donald Trump ~ former President
Donald Trump started his political career with a lie. He falsely claimed that President Obama was not a U.S.-born citizen. Trump perpetuated this racist lie for years, knowing that he had no proof to back up his claim.

Marilee Jones ~ former dean at MIT
Jones was employed by MIT for 28 years before it was discovered that she not only hadn’t earned the master’s degree listed on her resume, she hadn’t received any college degree at all.

Upon resigning in 2007, Jones stated that after getting the job with MIT, she “did not have the courage to correct” her resume.

George O’Leary ~ Notre Dame Football Head Coach
Before being hired by the university, O’Leary claimed he had earned a Master’s degree in Education from New York University and that he played college football for 3 years at the University of New Hampshire.  

In reality, O’Leary did attend NYU in the 7o’s, but never received a degree.  And as far as his starting football career for New Hampshire?  O’Leary never even played in one game.

His career at Notre Dame lasted 5 days when he was forced to resign after the truth was found out.

Adam Wheeler ~ former Harvard student
Wheeler’s entire academic career was a lie. He fabricated his education history with the sole purpose of getting into Harvard.  

In his application to Harvard, Wheeler claimed he was transferring from MIT. In reality, he was a former student at Bowdoin College, where he was suspended for “academic dishonesty”.

After being accepted into Harvard, Wheeler plagiarized essays and research proposals that earned him $40,000 in grants and prizes.

Surprisingly, Wheeler was only found out when he applied for the Rhodes and Fullbright scholarships in his senior year at Harvard.

Wheeler pleaded guilty to 20 varied felonies and misdemeanors including identity fraud and larceny.  He was sentenced to 10 years probation and ordered to pay restitution of $45,806 to the university.

Brian Valery ~ Impersonating a Lawyer
Valery was a paralegal at a Connecticut law firm. While employed there, he told his employers that he attended night classes and passed the state bar in 2004. He worked for two years as a lawyer before the deception was discovered.  

In 2008, Valery was sentenced to $225,000 in restitution to his former firm and community service.

Laura Callahan ~ former Homeland Security Deputy Chief Information Officer
Callahan worked for the Department of Homeland Security in one of the most important IT positions in the country. Her job entailed managing the databases containing vast information on our nation’s terrorists.

Before gaining this position, Callahan had held a similar one with the Department of Labor.

She stated a Ph.D in computer science along with multiple other degrees that made others consider her an expert in her field....or did she?

In 2003, it was discovered that Callahan's Ph.D., and actually all three of her listed degrees, had been purchased from Hamilton University, an online diploma mill. Callahan had even had them all back dated to make it seem as if she earned them at the right times in her career.

Callahan resigned in 2004, but was never charged with any crime.

David Tovar ~ V.P. of Communications for Walmart
Tovar claimed a B.A. degree from the University of Delaware in 1996. He was hired by Walmart in 2006 and became its lead spokesman on many high-profile issues.

The truth is that Tovar never really earned that degree. Despite, according to him, walking in the graduation ceremony, months later the university informed Tovar that he was actually a few credits short.

By that time , Tovar explained that he had already gotten a job and decided not to go back to finish his credits.  

However, when Tovar was being evaluated for a promotion to Senior V.P., the decades old lie was discovered.  Tovar has resigned and will leave Walmart by the end of September, 2014.

As you can see, resumes lies can come back to haunt you, even long-ago ones!
And while these are examples of what can happen when “big leaguers” lie, there are many “common" resume lies that will get you in hot water:
  1. Education - claiming an unearned degree, raising grade point average, faking Credentials, Certifications and Licenses
  2. Employment - listing better job titles and responsibilities, omitting a past employment to cover being fired,  fudging dates of employment, or listing “Self-Employed” (usually to cover periods of unemployment).
  3. Salary - Citing an inflated salary 
  4. Fraudulent References - having friends serve as professional references or hiring a company to do it.
The best thing you can do is to make sure your resume is clean from the beginning. But what if you have already fabricated information? What should you do? In the second part of this series, you will find steps you can follow to help.

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We can give you some free tips to put you on the right track. If you need more in-depth help, we would be happy to discuss Our Services.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Fall is Really Our “New Year”, and It Should be Yours Too!

While traditionally, many make their “new year” resolutions in January, that has never been the case for us. Instead, we choose to make ours in the beginning of September. And here is why.....
When September rolls around we are in a very different place than we are at the beginning of a New Year. We have usually had the chance to relax, at least somewhat, over the last few months. Summer’s longer days and nicer weather has meant vacations and long weekends, and we have even able to take a real vacation “laptop free” ~ see how we managed that here.

Even our business has been in slow down mode. Many of our clients are taking vacations themselves and the need for our services lessens. While we certainly don’t stop work completely, there is a definite reduction in the amount of time we need to take to complete our tasks.

In addition, for many September officially heralds in the start of a new school year. And even though we no longer have children to send off, for us it still signifies a time to get back to work and follow a schedule. 

We see Fall as a perfect time for a fresh start. We find that when September begins we really feel a new energy and am ready to tackle our business head on.

Neither of these things are true for us in January.

For the most part, by the time the new year rolls around, we are usually exhausted. Holiday demands ~ decorating, baking, family gatherings ~ have taken their toll. The last thing we are ready to do is buckle down and set goals for us or our business.  

So instead, each Fall we begin our true “New Year”. We are mentally and physically ready to be objective and honest about ou business goals and can set a true course to achieve them.

And these 3 Steps are where we place our efforts:

  • Reflect
Now is a great time to look back and see what we have accomplished since the beginning of the year. We will take a good hard look at what is working and what still needs work and ask ourselves if we are where we want to be. 

We also can be honest about what we are doing, or not doing, to achieve our goals. Are we wasting too much time on one thing at the detriment of another? 

Our tip to You ~ Be sure to focus on weeding out what is not working ~ why should you waste your time? This may mean dropping products or services that are no longer viable or adding new ones that are more in line with your goals.

This is not a time to stress about what you didn’t get done. However, it is the time to be honest about your business and yourself. The point now is to move forward.
  • Reevaluate
Now we will make a list of our goals and prioritize them. We need to decide what is most important and work on that first.  

Our tip to You ~ Mix “quick fixes” with more lengthy projects. This will help you quickly gain a sense of accomplishment, so important in keeping you motivated.

At this point we will add to that list ways we can make our business more profitable. To that end, we will reevaluate the actual costs of running our business. Are there places we can save? Do we need to spend more in some areas?  

This is when we will determine whether we need to raise our prices. If we do, then we are sure to give our current clients a heads up. Our practice is to announce now that a price increase will take effect at the start of the new year. This gives our clients plenty of notice and a chance to request our services at the current price until then.
  • Refocus
For us, that means taking a fresh look at what really brings us the most joy in our business and edit our new goal list accordingly. We find we need to remind ourselves of “why” we do what we do. When we have that squarely in mind, then it is easy to see where we should place our focus.

This core is what makes our business uniquely ours. For example, several years ago we decided to refocus on our desire to work exclusively with small businesses. To that end, our new goal list concentrated on what we could do to accomplish this.  

By re-focusing, we able to fine tune our resolutions into a list that really makes the most sense to us and our business.

Our Tip to You ~ Set Your own goals to reflect what makes you unique. Find your “why” and align your “new year’s” resolutions accordingly.  

Now you know why we choose fall to be the start of our “new year”, and we think it could be yours too! Give it a try!
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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

3 Reasons Why Labor Day and Small Business are Perfect Partners!

This Labor Day we need to celebrate Small Business more than ever!
Small Businesses have had a rough time. They have had to implement new and expanding health restrictions, operate with a dwindling staff, and get creative to serve their customers. Not all have been able to weather the storm. 

That is why we need to remember to recognize their hard work and perseverance, right along with everyone else who works hard to take care of their families and help to strengthen our country!

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, we celebrate Labor Day as a way to “pay tribute to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.” And this most definitely means Small Business and the hardworking people who are running them.

3 Reasons Why Small Business & Labor Day are Perfect Partners:
  • Small Businesses are Vital to the U.S. Economy
Today, there are over 28 million Small businesses, making up more than 75% of the total businesses in the U.S., and our numbers are increasing each year. We also employ over 50% of the current working population (according to Forbes) and have created more than 63% of the new jobs in the U.S. since 1993 ( 

The economic landscape and downsizing of larger businesses most likely prompted the trend towards entrepreneurship. However, the current climate favors “shopping small” and this bodes well for the success of Small Business.
  • Small Business Owners Recognize the Importance of Their Employees
Small Business owners more than anyone understand the need to appreciate our employees. We work more closely and rely more heavily on them than our larger counterparts. 

Smart small business owners realize that our employees are key to our survival. They are hands-on with our customers and with our products and services. We rely on them for the success of our day-to-day operations.

Not just on Labor Day, but each and every day, Small Business owners recognize the importance of valuing our employees.  Treating them with respect and committing ourselves to them is the best way of getting that in return - a recipe for our company’s success.
  • Small Business Owners Embrace the Work Ethic
Along with celebrating our employees, small business owners should also recognize ourselves and our accomplishments. We took the leap and started our own business. We continue working day in and day out to provide for our families and the families of our employees. Even in a down economy, or perhaps because of it, we have forged our own paths and found a way to make it work.

This quote sums up why the ideals celebrated on Labor Day and Small Business go hand in hand:

Small Businesses provide that opportunity to many ~ and that is something to Celebrate! Happy Labor Day!

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