Resume Fraud is Career Suicide
Resume fraud, in which an applicant falsifies any part of an accounting resume, is immoral and inexcusable – and now, thanks to the Internet and other digital databases, it is practically impossible to get away with resume fraud for any period of time. Especially in the accounting profession, the consequences of even being suspected of resume fraud can include a virtual lifetime ban from any responsible positions, as well as expulsion from professional organizations and suspension of any pertinent professional licenses. In short – it is not even worth thinking about falsifying an accounting resume. While statistics show that resume fraud is on the rise, what is actually on the rise is the ability to detect such fraud – in other words, fraudsters get caught more often!
In the past, before the Internet crystallized as an easily accessible public record, applicants for jobs might have believed they could go so far as to invent firms which never existed and positions which they never held. After all, with the volatility of the economy over the past few decades, it is highly plausible that a real estate firm could have disappeared after a bankruptcy or a merger, with references from its former managers therefore unavailable. However, nowadays, an astute human resources professional knows to carry out a quick Internet search to find records of any firm that may have existed – and if no information is available concerning a firm where an applicant claims to have held a managerial position, a red flag is raised and if there is an interview, contact information will be requested. Once the applicant shows that he cannot produce such information, his accounting resume will be blacklisted, and it will be a severe blow to his career.
Another form of resume fraud is falsification of academic credentials. This is even more foolhardy than falsification of experience, as academic records are easily available and if there is even a suspicion of resume fraud, the institution in question will be contacted. Even academic honors and awards should be carefully documented, with clear descriptions as to their nature, as falsification of such recognition is also considered resume fraud, even if it is only a matter of overstatement and not full blown fabrication.
Indeed, with blatant resume fraud now so easily detectable, there are accounting job applicants who risk the consequences of inflating experience or credentials, not realizing that this, too, is considered resume fraud. Especially given the ethical standards of the accounting profession, any form of incorrect information on a resume, listed with the intent of enhancing the candidate’s chances of being hired, is considered fraud and if detected can mean the end of an otherwise successful career.
Every fact listed on a resume should be easily verifiable by the listed references or by a simple check of a public database. Listing any information that may differ from the actual information that is verifiable can be considered as resume fraud, and it is both immoral and foolhardy, if not downright illegal, to exaggerate in any way, let alone to falsify any information, on any accounting resume.