GroundFloor Media & CenterTable Blog

Last week, Boulder’s mayor was caught by the media misrepresenting her resume on the city’s website. It turns out that she graduated from the University of Colorado, not Vasser College as she stated.

Susan Osborne’s mistake was caught after the Vasser alumni magazine called her to do a profile and after some checking, they found that she only spent several years at the highly selective liberal arts college. In responding to the media coverage, Osborne did the best she could to defray the impact of the coverage, calling it a naïve mistake and claiming that she truly considered herself a Vasser graduate and the school holds a special place in her heart.

It’s an all-too-familiar scenario, a top executive or elected official has some questionable information on his/her resume that eventually makes its way to the public. Over the last two decades, I can think of countless cases where local or national execs were caught embellishing their resumes. The list includes a Notre Dame football coach, dean at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and CEO of RadioShack.

If we’re going to learn from these instances, our recommendation would be to use this opportunity to review and fact check your corporate profiles that are made public – both offline and online. I know as a former newspaper editor, as a matter of course, we reviewed resumes of executives from locally based companies.

According to CareerBuilder.com, just five percent of workers admitted to fibbing on their resume, 57 percent of hiring managers say they have caught a lie on a candidate’s application. The potential reward is not worth the risk.

~ Gil Rudawsky

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