Job seekers can learn from the misfortunes of Robert Irvine, a British-born chef and presenter of Dinner: Impossible on the Food Network. Claiming credentials you don’t have is setting yourself up for disaster.
People are most likely to lie about things like their education or how long they worked for a company, but unfortunately these are the easiest things to check. If your lie isn’t discovered during reference checking, there’s still a chance you will caught down the road. Many companies have a zero tolerance policy and will fire an employee caught lying on an application, even if it’s several years later.
Irvine admitted that he lied about being a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order and exaggerated his role as a traveling chef for numerous heads of state.
If the issue is a candidate’s insecurity about their qualifications for a position, there are ways to address the issue without falsifying your background. It’s never worth the risk when there are perfectly legitimate ways to position your credentials — for example, the lack of a degree or a short stint at a particular company — and still get interviews.