When to lie on your resume

If you have reason to, please leave it in the comments. I’m afraid I can’t think of one at the moment.


4 comments on “When to lie on your resume

  1. Hmm, when you think you know better what an employer should be looking for? E.g., your friend says that his company is hiring but that the hiring manager doesn’t know a thing about testing. They don’t really want someone with ISTQB certification but you need to put that on your resume to make it past the application screening.

    • Frist of all: Thanks, Dan. It takes some boldness and courage to reply to a post like that. Second, I want to admit some ethical gray about this. A tougher version of these sorts of questions is “would you lie to save a life (Do you have rebels in your carbo bay, escaping imprisonment for a crime they did not commit)” or “would you steal food to feed your family?”

      Most of the time, though, the decision is a lot more straightforward.

      I have to say thought, your example is listed as #13 in the Unethical Rationalization and Misconceptions:

      13. The Saint’s Excuse: “It’s for a good cause”

      This rationalization has probably caused more death and human suffering than any other. The words “it’s for a good cause” have been used to justify all sorts of lies, scams and mayhem. It is the downfall of the zealot, the true believer, and the passionate advocate that almost any action that supports “the Cause,’ whether it be liberty, religion, charity, or curing a plague, is seen as being justified by the inherent rightness of the ultimate goal. Thus Catholic Bishops protected child-molesting priests to protect the Church, and the American Red Cross used deceptive promotions to swell its blood supplies after the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Saint’s Excuse allows charities to strong-arm contributors, and advocacy groups to use lies and innuendo to savage ideological opponents. The Saint’s Excuse is that the ends justify the means, because the “saint” has decided that the ends are worth any price—especially when that price will have to be paid by someone else.

      There might be a subtle distinction between the Saint’s excuse and “the ends justify the means”, which is mentioned in passing in #8. You argument also hints at that.

      One thing to do with certifications like that: List “self-education roughly equivalent to ISTQB certification”, or (title-of-thing that is more objective, such as miagido black belt) – roughly equivalent to ISTQB foundation. etc.

      Generally my approach is to skip the intake process completely, and instead have the manager walk a printout of my linkedin to HR, saying “I want to interview this person; we need to get him in the database.” – but that’s a different post.

      Again, thanks for commenting. I hear you. You might get a kick out of reviewing the rationalizations list – it’s a testers friend. 🙂

      • Oh, you wanted an example of an ethical lie? 🙂
        Is that an oxymoron?
        I was just trying to think of a hypothetical situation which could drive someone to tell something other than “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”. I agree that there are other creative options which could accomplish the same end through less questionable means.

        If one considers “lying” through the lens of Michael Bolton’s Relative Rule, it can easily morph into a case of moral relativism which opens the door to lots of possible answers. But if one believes that, regardless of the amount of gray in between, there are black and white ends (e.g., John 14:6), then that’s a different context. That discussion is a whole different set of posts.

        • “Oh, you wanted an example of an ethical lie? 🙂 Is that an oxymoron?”

          I think questioning my motivations for the post is fair, Dom. Really, it was two things. First, I wanted to respond to “When to lie on your resume” ( https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-how-you-should-lie-your-resume-yury-makedonov ) which was recently posted to the software-testing yahoo group ( https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/software-testing/info ).

          But instead of a one-word post that said “No”, I wanted to use a bit of safety language. So I wrote that I couldn’t think of, but could you?

          I wouldn’t sure what would result. Possibly nothing, possibly a ranging discussion. I did not mean to ask the trick question/shout you down as a trick thing – re-reading, I hope it didn’t come out that way.

          I will admit that if you had been out of work a long time, and were in danger of losing the house, etc, the temptation to stretch the truth might be strong. If I recall correctly, in his book Zero To One, Peter Theil states that ethics are a luxury – that google can say “Don’t be evil” because they are wildly profitable.

          I’m not sure how I feel about that, but as a young man, I was a boy scout and read a lot of Captain America. I find your reference to John 14 … prescient.

          thanks for participating, man.

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