Special report: Online company offers to fake resumes

Special report: Online company offers to fake resumes

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by Amanda Burden

kgw.com

Posted on February 9, 2010 at 1:10 AM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 9 at 1:49 PM

Looking for a job, but have a problem spot on your resume? A new Web site offers to re-write your work history to land your dream job. But not without lies and deception.

Here’s the philosophy of the new Web site, Career Excuse -- times are tough and landing a job is not easy. So why not make up references and work experience? The Ohio-based company claims to provide job-seekers with outstanding references from former employers, except those employers don’t actually exist.

For a fee, Career Excuse will fake a phone number, address, and Web site for the phony company listed on the new and improved resume.

They’ll even fabricate a diploma and have a real person standing by to answer the phone and sing your praises.

Founder William Schmidt said a resume is not a legal document so “lying on a resume as of yet, is not against the law or illegal.”

The site sends shivers down Mary Carvour’s spine. She’s in charge of doing the hiring at Co-Axis, a software development company in Southeast Portland.

“We have hundreds of candidates that we're looking at, on any particular time,” Carvour explained.

Despite the economy, Co-Axis is expanding and Carvour said Web sites like Career Excuse blur a candidate’s background causing an unfair advantage during the hiring process.

“It's a bigger challenge for us, clearly finding people who are qualified,” Carvour said.

Judy Clark with HR Answers said just because lying on a resume isn’t illegal, that doesn’t make it right. Plus, there’s a good chance you’ll get caught.

“It's so inappropriate, it's unethical, it's immoral, it's unprofessional,” added Clark. “You do yourself some significant potential damage if an employer is cognizant and thoughtful and comprehensive in their reference checks.”

If you think getting hired is hard now, Clark said see what happens if you get snared in the lying trap. “Portland, in some respects, is a small community, everybody knows everybody, or knows somebody who knows somebody, and that kind of word travels very fast,” she said. “It can damage your reputation and your job prospects.”

Clark advises employers to check and double-check an applicant’s references, ask detailed questions and consider calling the Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce to verify a past employer.

“You ought to hire slowly and you should take your time to make that decision,” she advised.

Back at Co-Axis, Carvour said she follows all those rules and feels confident she could catch someone who lies on their resume.

“Co-Axis is not going to be duped,” she said. “I’m pretty determined.”

And one added benefit that Career Excuse offers on its Web site – a service to fake funeral excuses if you need a day off. But if you do get caught, they have a disclaimer that releases them of any responsibility.

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