Fake It Until You Make It

Tuesday 1 July, 2014

Have you ever lied on your resume? Maybe said you received better marks than you really did? Said you worked that part time job that you really didn’t? Here’s something that will make you feel better. Some people don’t just fake their resumes to get their first gig, some ride the wave straight to the top!


Andrew Flanagan proved this recently. Meet the man who was hired as the general manager of strategy and business development of Myer just last week! It’s a shame he was fired on his first day when they discovered he had lied his way to the top. Andrew was claiming to be the former managing director and vice president of Asia Pacific for Inditex, a Spanish retailer company owning Zara. There were a bunch of people who wanted to hire this extremely qualified man, but Myer got in early and snatched their worm! When Inditex rang them up on Andrew’s first day at work, they let Myer in on a secret – he never worked for them. Rough day for everyone, I’d say.




Meet Adam Wheeler. He did not exaggerate his grades, but rather created his entire academic background to land him a spot at Harvard University. This is not where it ended. He plagiarized essays and research proposals that would see him awarded $40,000 worth of prizes and grants from the prestigious university.


Adam made his resume from scratch, lying about his perfect grades from MIT, SAT scores, letters of recommendation from professors as well as his high school and college transcripts. Sounds like a pretty smart guy to me, may as well just have applied! In reality, he attended a small town high school and attended Bowdoin College…before he was suspended for academic dishonesty.


But! Karma has a way of finding its victims. He was charged with 20 misdemeanor and felony counts to which he pleaded guilty. Oh? He also had to pay Harvard back $45, 806. Ouch. That wouldn't be a fun fine to pay on a part time job.


After discussing this with some friends of mine, we decided that these people not only create a complete lie on paper, but they have surely also gone through excessive interview stages with numerous people. They must be intelligent and charismatic people, asides from the lies of course. If they can skip to the top of the ranks, it would be interesting to see how Andrew Flanagan would have actually handled the job (if he wasn’t fired on his first day) or if Adam Wheeler would have done well at Harvard had it been his own work.


Another thought: these are the people that have been caught. How many people have lied their way to the top and haven’t come back down?

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