Everybody knows that you should not lie on your resume, but it happens, actually, it happens a lot. Why do people do it? Well, to get work! (Or to inflate their own ego!!!) For the record, I am against lying on resumes, but I think there is something to be said about companies requiring degrees for certain roles when clearly a candidate can do the gig without it. I would LOVE to hear my readers comments on this issue.
Okay, here is some food for thought…
Ronald Zarrella, Bausch & Lomb, CEO
Misdemeanor: Zarrella falsely claimed an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. He attended the program from 1972-76, but never earned his MBA. His claim was never checked by his prior employers.
Punishment: He was forced to forfeit $1.1 million dollars from a bonus that could’ve potentially reached $1.65 million. Zarrella remained employed with Bausch & Lomb, who said he brought too much value to the company and it shareholders to fire him completely.
George O’Leary, ex-Notre Dame Football Coach
Misdemeanor: In 2001, O’Leary divulged his lies about his academic and athletic backgrounds. He claimed to have a master’s degree in education from New York University and to have played college football and earned three letters while doing so. Contrarily, O’Leary was a student at NYU but did not earn a degree, and while he played football, he never earned a letter, let alone played in a game.
Punishment: Five days after he was hired, O’Leary resigned. “Many years ago, as a young married father, I sought to pursue my dream as a football coach,” he said in a statement. “In seeking employment, I prepared a résumé that contained inaccuracies regarding my completion of course work for a master’s degree and also my level of participation in football at my alma mater. These misstatements were never stricken from my résumé or biographical sketch in later years.”
Marilee Jones, Admissions Dean for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Misdemeanor: Jones fudged her credentials, claiming to be a “scientist with degrees in biology from Rennselaar Polytechnic Institute and the Albany Medical College,” and to have her doctorate. Jones said in a statement she “did not have the courage to correct my résumé when I applied for my current job or at any time since.”
Punishment: Jones resigned in April 2007 after officials learned of her fabrications. MIT’s dean for undergraduate education said MIT couldn’t “tolerate this kind of behavior.”
Kenneth Lonchar, CFO of Veritas software
Misdemeanor: Lonchar fabricated his education, saying he earned an accounting degree from Arizona State University and was a Stanford MBA graduate — in reality, all he had was an undergraduate degree from Idaho State University.
Punishment: Lonchar resigned and Veritas stock investors responded — the company’s stock price fell about 16 percent.
Jeff Papows, CEO of Lotus Corporation
Misdemeanor: In 1999, The Wall Street Journal discovered Papows exaggerated his military record (he was a lieutenant not a captain), feigned his education (he doesn’t have a Ph.D. from Pepperdine University) and claimed he was an orphan (his parents are alive and well).
Punishment: Papows resigned after his exaggerations were exposed at the same time as a sexual discrimination allegation from a former Lotus employee against him. Papows is now the chairman and CEO of Maptuit Corporation.
Dave Edmondson, CEO of RadioShack
Misdemeanor: Edmondson falsified his résumé by claiming to have a degree in psychology from Pacific Coast Baptist College in California (though the school doesn’t offer a psychology program), along with a degree in theology from the same unaccredited college.
Punishment: Like the others, Edmondson admitted his false claims and resigned.
Want more? READ: Infamous Resume Lies