Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Resolved: lying on your resume is dumb

From Twitter, a really good story from UC-Irvine chemistry professor Jenny Yang, told in a number of tweets: 
Crazy thing happened. A Prof. emailed me for a personal reference after interviewing someone for a job that seemed like a great fit. 
Only problem? I had never heard of this person. They said they worked in my lab from 2013-2014, year I started. Unlikely I'd forget someone. 
Just in case, I asked everyone that had been in the lab that year if they remembered this person. They did not. They checked notebooks too. 
One of my students TA'd this person but I never taught this person. Looking back at my emails, this person had asked if they could do research in my lab but I said I had no space.  
Anyway I told the Prof. this person never worked n my lab. Prof emails me the next week. 
Says this person listed the wrong name on CV. They worked for a Jenny Yeng that was only at UCI for 1 year, ran a small group, and somehow does the same research as me. I said there is no such person.  
Prof. said they talked to this 'Jenny Yeng' on the phone.  
Said glowing things about the candidate. 
So this person lies on their CV. Gets caught. Makes up a fictional person to serve as a reference.  
And it cost them a job. I sure hope they learn a lesson and decide to revise their CV and be honest.
I don't have much to say about this, other than the obvious: eventually, lies get caught.

10 comments:

  1. Today, dumb student learned: people check references.

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  2. The sad thing is, what this person did will probably work more often than not.

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    Replies
    1. It's amazing to me that the deception went to the second level, i.e. they roped someone else in to lie for them as well.

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    2. Silly student should know this is only likely to work if you go for a job outside the field... -_-

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  3. "I don't have much to say about this, other than the obvious: eventually, lies get caught."

    That is debatable from my experience of finding questionable shit in SIs. I would say that "eventually, obvious lies get caught, and then not always". Looks like this person just didn't level up enough so they didn't put enough points into the 'lying' perk, or maybe spent too many points on 'charisma'. But convincing a fake Jenny Yeng to say good things about you was not the right way to make it past that challenge since the roll was below the points required to make it past the professor bullshit detector. Oh well, looks like this job finding mission was a failure. Need to try another mission or play a different game.

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    Replies
    1. I feel like you could have worked this RPG metaphor into something more, from one NPC to another.

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  4. I'm contemplating not saying I'm a phd so I can get a technician job after being out of lab for a while and being older. So, "highest level of education?" I'm afraid I'll be lying. Sometimes it's just desperation.

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    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness, do not do this! When your employer finds out, you will be fired unceremoniously!

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    2. Zero chance of a job because of no interview or take the risk? Tough call.

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  5. Unfortunately, people do get away with lying. Someone from grad school got kicked out during the first year because of grades. Now they are a tenured prof. and acting dean. While a master's has been listed as the degree, you do not get a master's if you do pass your classes. Another source list M.S., but M.S. degrees are not given by the chem department at this specific university. M.A. if you pass your classes. I'm tempted to do some investigating. It is very difficult to get an academic job anywhere. Hate the idea that I have to compete against liars.

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