Just Don't Pad Your Resume Like Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson Did

By Edward Tan, JD on May 08, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson is in some hot water over padding his resume. And his shining example shows why all you job-hunting associates should think twice before bloating your credentials.

Third Point, a Yahoo! shareholder firm, accused Thompson of lying about his college degree, CNNMoney reports. Thompson's Yahoo! bio stated that he possessed a Bachelor's degree in accounting and computer science from Stonehill College. But his degree is only in accounting. Third Point discovered the discrepancy in the midst of its proxy fight with the Internet company.

Ouch. Yahoo! says it's investigating the matter. But both Thompson and the company have got some 'splainin' to do.

And so do you if get caught in a similar mess. The fallout from Thompson's debacle can pass along some value lessons to jobseekers.

Chief among them is if a CEO of a Fortune 500 company can be caught, then you probably can, too. Heck, even Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was discovered to have plagiarized part of his dissertation decades after his assassination.

We all know the usually aftermath. Embarrassment, tarnished credibility, and so forth. When an interviewer discovers a resume fib, any hope to land the job is usually over. And unless you can back up your lie with an amazing series of new lies to make the original one sound true, you're screwed.

More importantly though, for attorneys a padded resume is more likely to catch up with you in the future. Lawyering is a more prestigious job. And with prestige generally comes more public and private scrutiny. Especially if you decide to change firms later.

And like Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson has learned, the negative effects of a padded resume can resonate throughout one's career.

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