Last week, the New York State Department of Labor released its most recent unemployment figures. Locally, the unemployment rate in Chenango County continues a downward trend, falling from a dismal 9.7 percent in January to a much more optimistic 6.4 percent in August.
This marks the eighth consecutive month the local unemployment rate has dropped since the beginning of the year. At the same time, the number of those who are unemployed county-wide also dropped to approximately 1,600, more than 100 fewer than in July. Local business authorities have largely attributed growth in the local job market to an increase in local manufacturing jobs at companies like Chobani, Golden Artist Colors, and the Raymond Corporation.
Irrespective of the naysayers who argue a lower unemployment rate is the result of more people getting part-time work (or worse, the deceptively negative consequence of people who have stopped looking for work altogether), I like to think that overall, this is only good news for the local economy. Even if it's true that job-seekers are only finding part-time work, part-time is better than nothing at all, right?
Nevertheless, I can't overlook the question: What are people doing differently now to find work? According to a recent report from foxbusiness.com, it might have something to do with the extra “enhancements” (a.k.a. lying) people add to their resume.
Admittedly, it's not really news that people lie on their resume. It's a nasty habit that dates back to the days of Noah, “master shipbuilder, family man, and avid animal lover.” Fortunate for him, things worked out anyway.
But for the rest of us, lying to add a little extra padding to our resume is a serious risk that carries serious consequences. Last month, a so-called “expert on Syria” lost her job at the Institute for the Study of War for lying about receiving a PhD. And a year ago, the former CEO of Yahoo! falsified his resume, saying that he earned a Baccalaureate in Accounting and Computer Science when in fact, his degree was only in Accounting. Yahoo! passed it off as an “inadvertent error” (a fancy way of saying, “Oops”) but the fiasco resulted in a PR nightmare for the company.
Of course, the drop in local unemployment can't possibly be attributed solely to an increase in the number of people lying on their resume. Yet, I can't help but wonder. There is, after all, an enormous amount of pressure to find a decent paying job in our highly competitive job market. Lying might be the only edge some people have. Imagine what job you could get with the skills you developed as a “championship driver,” “professional tamer of large mammals,” “former astronaut” and “inventor of the wheel.”
I think the interview for my own job at The Evening Sun would have been more promising had I told the editor of my past experience as the Prime Minister of Norway.
As I said, lying to get a job certainly isn't a new phenomenon. In theory, it might even be understandable. At the end of the day, we all know that the things we choose to lie about on a resume will look a hundred times better on paper than the ugly truth (Objective: play a major role in watching the company advance; Education: graduated eighth in a class of ten; Strengths; I have integrity so I won't steal office supplies; Achievements: nominated for prom queen; Special skills: can hold my breath for 53.7 seconds; Hobbies: having a good time; Work related experience: employers say I shouldn't work with other employees; Reason for leaving: terminated after saying it would be a blessing to get fired; Personal: my family is willing to relocate, but not to New England (too cold) and not to Southern California (earthquakes). Indianapolis or Chicago would be fine, but would prefer Orlando's proximity to Disney World).