When my career began to take off, which I owe to my boss that first asked for me to become his assistant but also fought to keep me and at the same time took me under his wings to teach me what he knew. He came from a different world in which people got hired and advanced not because of schooling necessarily but for whom they knew. Skills were passed from one person to the other on a basis of thrust, blind loyalty and how hard you quietly worked for this individual. If you were smart enough and loyal enough you had a chance of taking over this person’s profession when he retired or died. My boss was always explaining how he did things which sometimes appeared to be unorthodox but he was a wealth of experience in our field. He was smart and had become very successful from just being a store keeper in Egypt. Double my age I was lucky to have had the opportunity to work with him in certain projects before working for him which gave us the opportunity to get to know each other.
One day to my surprise he said to me he didn’t have a college degree which was required for both my job and his. I didn’t have a BA but had an associate degree through my three years studying in the Evangelical seminary. He made sure they made me his assistant on my experience, which was solid but for him to admit that he lied in his resume, particularly since he had come from another country and become an american citizen which meant more weight was placed on the schooling you had in another country because you had not trail of paperwork here.
He told them he had worked for very prestigious companies such as Cartier in France, which was true. With that in his pocket and dropping some names he was given the job in my company. He said to me not to worry about not having the type of degree needed if you were not born in the mainland. He said give yourself what ever you need. Nobody is going to check where you went to school in another country only where you worked.
For his times that was correct I guess but for my time things were beginning to get very competitive and resumes were very important and most big companies had their own Human Resources Dept with people whose main job was checking applications and resumes. Background checks and polygraph tests were the norm. Not legal to be used to deny employment but if you failed a polygraph test in a sensitive position you will not be hired. If hired they will find a reason to get you out.
I knew that and when I was given my first polygraph when I wanted to jump ship convinced me I better have all my ducks in a row. I failed that polygraph for reasons other than being dishonest, every other polygraph I always past. I was grateful that I failed it because I would have made a big mistake going to work for that small company. It was a good thing I did not follow my boss’s advice on this particular issue of lying on your resume. After I moved on it was a regular occurrence to see people go for lying on their resume. Padding is ok but an outright lie that can be found out with a little digging, it’s silly to do it.
If you get a job in which involves thsafety of people when found out you will loose more than your job, you will loose your liberty.
A perfect example is an individual working for one of the world’s largest companies, not as a stock boy but as a spokesman for the company it self. If that is not a cushy job I don’t know what is. Many of us would kill for that. Well he was just fired for lying on his resume.
David Tovar, Wal-Mart's (WMT) vice president of corporate communications, is leaving the retail giant after a background check revealed he hadn't finished his college degree.
In a phone interview, Tovar told CNBC the resume error was discovered while he was undergoing an assessment as part of the process of being promoted to senior vice president. He had been with the retail giant for eight years after working at Altria (MO) earlier.
"As part of that process I was going through additional leadership assessment, including a battery of tests including questions about leadership, drug tests, background checks," he said. "In the background check my education was flagged-it was done by a third party company. They asked me about it, and I was 100 percent transparent."
Following four years at the University of Delaware, Tovar said, he walked in the school's graduation ceremony, moved to New York and landed a job. Several months later, he said, he learned he was a few credits short of earnings his degree following a mix-up.
"I got a job and never looked back. I really didn't think an art degree would matter in communications, which was the field I went into," he said.
Fast forward nearly two decades, and the mix-up halted his climb up the ladder at the retail giant.
"Wal-Mart said they could not promote me based on what they found. I said that the more senior job is the one that what I wanted, so we agreed I would leave," he said. "I am leaving on good terms and Walmart has been very supportive. I am still here a few more weeks."
Tovar is far from the first person to get tripped up by similar oversights. Scott Thompson left his post as Yahoo's (YHOO) CEO after Third Point's Daniel Loeb discovered Thompson had only earned an accounting degree from Stonehill College-rather than one in computer science as well.
In the 2006, RadioShack's (RSH) then-chief executive David Edmondson resigned after it was revealed he lacked a college degree but had claimed he earned two.
CNBC's Katie Little