Fired? Laid Off? Get a Virtual Résumé

September 4, 2014

It must be a sign of the times because I’ve never seen so many scam artists as I’ve seen recently. There is now a company that provides phony job references to go with a phony career history. For a fee, they will create a phony website for a phony company, along with a phone number where a company representative is waiting to serve as your phony reference.

It’s always been standard operating procedure that if you can do some of what an employer lists in a classified ad, you pad the résumé to make it look like you have all the work experience that’s required. Most people do that and no one questions the ethics of the person submitting a padded résumé.

But, somehow, whether this company is operating within the grey area of the law or not, what they’re doing feels very unethical.

Nowadays, it’s almost imperative for professional people to have their own websites. And it’s not unheard of to ask family and friends to write glowing testimonials for your website telling how wonderful you are and how you helped them and their business succeed beyond their wildest expectations. But it’s another thing to make up phony businesses, employers, a work history, and have someone pose as a company representative who is waiting to serve as your phony reference.

“The site describes itself as a utility for job-seekers who have been rendered unemployable by firings or long gaps in their résumé. To hear them say it, they’re providing an important service to those stigmatized by the blight of unemployment.”

While I have the utmost compassion for people who have been fired or laid off, and I can understand why they feel they have been unfairly stigmatized by their unemployment, there is a very fine line between exaggerating a truth and outright lying.

Even if this company never gets caught and prosecuted for committing fraud, what they’re doing still violates a personal sense of honor. I know these are hard times and it’s horrendous to be out of work and not be able to meet your bills but there must be other ways to put food on the table without losing one’s integrity.

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