Puffing, padding, lying, –
What a yahoo!
The Merriam-Webster Online defines the noun yahoo as a boorish, crass, or stupid person. And while we certainly wouldn’t want to call former Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson a yahoo, he did make a very stupid decision.
How his bio dating back to his PayPal tenure came to include a computer science degree from Stonehill College is still unclear. This fictitious degree has replicated itself throughout two companies’ bios and into corporate documents recently filed with the SEC.
Scott Thompson tried to blame the introduction of the fictitious degree on the executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles. “We’ve are often asked to help candidates with resumes, to give feedback on organization, content, style,” said executive tech recruiter Rob Reeves, Redfish Technology. “However a recruiter would never add or invent information. It is absolutely an absurd claim.”
Ultimately, whether you puff, pad or lie, a day of reckoning will come. And the loss of credibility that comes on the day of reckoning will be severe. The collateral damage in this case is pretty large, disrupting a large company, interrupting focus on business, calling into question judgment, and undoubtedly damaging morale at Yahoo!.
Between the internet and background checks, it is never a good idea to puff or pad, and certainly never to lie. Interestingly, with the public-ization of resumes via the internet, especially sites like Linkedin, there has been an improvement in the honesty practiced on resumes. At least in terms of prior work experience and responsibilities. This is according to a Cornell article “The Effect of Linkedin on Deception in Resumes” by Jamie Guillory and Jeffrey T. Hancock. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. March 2012.
“Compared with traditional resumes, Linkedin resumes were less deceptive about the kinds of information that count most to employers, namely an applicant’s prior work experience and responsibilities, but more deceptive about interests and hobbies.”