There is an old adage that says, “Fake it until you make it,” and while this may be good advice in some areas of your life, it is never a good idea to do when it is concerning a job. It is not uncommon for a jobseeker to pad his or her resume to “get a foot in the door,” and then hope that those skills or traits that they fibbed about are easily learned, or better yet, unnecessary. However, padding a resume is not only wrong to do, but it is grounds for a lawsuit.
When you think about it from an employer’s perspective, padding your resume is inconsiderate and wasteful of an employer’s valuable time and resources. The application and interview process takes time and money, and no employer wants to have to spend those resources interviewing the wrong people. Furthermore, should an employer decide to hire you and find out that you cannot do what you said you could do, they either a) have to let you go and start the application process all over again, or b) keep you on and spend even more resources on training you.
If you are a jobseeker thinking about padding your resume, take some time to review this article about why you should not lie about your skills, experience, or education to a potential employer.
Padding your resume can have a range of negative consequences, from losing your employer’s trust to early termination. In some instances, padding your resume may even disable you from filing future, legitimate lawsuits against your employer, such as a wrongful employment lawsuit.
While padding your resume may not seem like a bad idea at the time, it could come back to haunt you should you be hired for the job at hand. For instance, you may be asked to perform a task you know nothing about, thereby risk being found out or looking like an incompetent employee—neither of which is good. Furthermore, if you do lie on your resume and your employer finds out about it, you will not receive a good job recommendation, even if you performed every other task up to par.
Though it is not illegal to pad your resume, it is illegal in some states to lie about your educational record on your resume. For instance, in Texas, it is illegal to claim that you hold a postsecondary degree if you know the statement to be fraudulent in order to obtain employment. In New Jersey, you could be subject to a $1,000 fine for each fraudulent degree you claim. In California, an employer is able to verify the existence of a college degree thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). So, even if you claim to have a degree, all a California employer has to do is run your credit report, and should they find out that you were lying, disqualify you as a candidate.
If you were to get hired despite your non-truths, and if you were to be subject to any number of wrongdoings by your employer or fellow employees, the fact that you padded your resume may make it impossible for you to file any legitimate legal claims against them. For instance, if your employer were to terminate you for discriminatory reasons, or deny you a promotion because you are a woman, you may have to forfeit your rights to a lawsuit if the employer can prove that they would not have hired you in the first place had they had all the facts on you. This is called “after-acquired evidence,” and is a legal defense used by many employers in wrongful termination lawsuits.
At Garcia & Gurney, ALC, our attorneys advocate for the rights of both employers and employees. Whether you have been found out for padding your resume and need legal assistance to combat wrongful termination, or whether you are an employer and would like to see what legal actions you can take against an employee who lied on their resume, contact our Pleasanton employment law firm at 925-468-0400 or online.