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Lying on your CV

Companies lie a LOT to candidates (and we you re in the job you have to lie to your suppliers/customers, you d better be good at it), it is fair games to "improve" your CV but if you do so stupidly you get caught, you probably not smart enough for the job ;-).You have not much to lose, at worst, your are not hired, you probably would not have been recruited with your original CV anyway.

like cheating, you must be smart to excel at it.If you do not want to lie, you have not much hope to be anything else than a low rank employee.
 
Companies lie a LOT to candidates (and we you re in the job you have to lie to your suppliers/customers, you d better be good at it), it is fair games to "improve" your CV but if you do so stupidly you get caught, you probably not smart enough for the job ;-).You have not much to lose, at worst, your are not hired, you probably would not have been recruited with your original CV anyway.

like cheating, you must be smart to excel at it.If you do not want to lie, you have not much hope to be anything else than a low rank employee.

If you are going to live your life like this, you're going to get burned. And chances are, you do not have a political war machine to spin your reputation back into good standing.
 
Lying on the resume is ok if you are in sales, a lawyer, or a poker player; i.e. a professional liar.

You become pro by practice. Even Adolf Hitler, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama had to put in the practice. Poker players gradually learn about "tells" -- their own and those of others.

Interviewers are not stupid either. They can usually see through deception. But usually naive straightforwardness is frowned upon -- after we live in an ocean of lies. In the old days, when the British army was looking for officer material, they would ask candidates the licence number of the taxi they took. The candidate who replied that he took the bus promptly got booted out (obviously not from the right social class). The candidate who couldn't remember was also shown the door. But the candidate who made up the number on the spot got the job -- he had obviously shown some initiative.
 
Companies lie a LOT to candidates (and we you re in the job you have to lie to your suppliers/customers, you d better be good at it), it is fair games to "improve" your CV but if you do so stupidly you get caught, you probably not smart enough for the job ;-).You have not much to lose, at worst, your are not hired, you probably would not have been recruited with your original CV anyway.

like cheating, you must be smart to excel at it.If you do not want to lie, you have not much hope to be anything else than a low rank employee.

The discussion on this thread should be focused on quant finance. In general, Eugene and others have good points.
If you are taking about a quantitative/CompSci interview, you have to be very careful. You can probably embelish a bit, but it is very risky to blatantly lie. Most things can be checked quickly.

For example, if you say you know a model, a pattern, an algorithm, a notion, you can be brought to your knees in 1, 2 questions.
After that you are done, little chance to get the position. On the other hand, if you say you don't know that specific model, it is not great, but the discussion can move to another item. Perhaps the interviewer will even give you some details about the specific model. He/she would wants to see your problem solving ability in an "unknown area"
 

GoIllini

Market Crises= Gray Hair
My view is that honesty is always the best policy, but we also need to remember that a resume is a marketing document- not a factual, unbiased assessment. It's all right to emphasize the positive parts of your background, gloss over the negatives, and both generalize and be specific when it serves your interess. You shouldn't lie, but while most employers accept that a resume should contain the truth and nothing but the truth, they understand that a resume may not contain the whole truth.

People who get caught mildly exaggerating their skills can still get job offers by our group. If you put down that you know C#, but in the interview it comes up that you haven't worked in it in three years, that's not a huge problem if we're not hiring you for your C# skills. If we catch someone in a flat-out lie, however, that makes it much harder, because we're not sure if we can trust them.
 

GoIllini

Market Crises= Gray Hair
In the old days, when the British army was looking for officer material, they would ask candidates the licence number of the taxi they took. The candidate who replied that he took the bus promptly got booted out (obviously not from the right social class). The candidate who couldn't remember was also shown the door. But the candidate who made up the number on the spot got the job -- he had obviously shown some initiative.
Not sure the US Army promotes this kind of behavior these days. Not sure if anyone does.

In technology, honesty-with a pleasant spin on it- is usually the best policy. If there's a bug in the system, the worst thing to do is to hide it. When you need to say something inconvenient, either make sure you're able to put a good spin on it or be ready with a solution ready-to-go.
 

Bastian Gross

German Mathquant
You should never lie in your CV and during your interview. Human research managers are too clever!
 
In technology, honesty-with a pleasant spin on it- is usually the best policy. If there's a bug in the system, the worst thing to do is to hide it. When you need to say something inconvenient, either make sure you're able to put a good spin on it or be ready with a solution ready-to-go.

With respect to tech and the exact sciences, you are correct: one or two questions can expose one's ignorance and incompetence. A little embellishment is as far as dishonesty in the quant area can go.

With regard to other areas, telling lies is often part of the job (though rarely stated as such). In the past, a few CEOs have been caught not having the degrees they claimed on their resumes. My memory fails but didn't this happenb to either the CEO of Intel or Motorola some years ago?
 

GoIllini

Market Crises= Gray Hair
With respect to tech and the exact sciences, you are correct: one or two questions can expose one's ignorance and incompetence. A little embellishment is as far as dishonesty in the quant area can go.

With regard to other areas, telling lies is often part of the job (though rarely stated as such). In the past, a few CEOs have been caught not having the degrees they claimed on their resumes. My memory fails but didn't this happenb to either the CEO of Intel or Motorola some years ago?
I think the most recent instance of this was the recruiting director for MIT. I believe she was fired (rightfully so).

My advice is that it's better in the long run- over the course of five years- to be honest. That doesn't mean you need to volunteer harmful information, but it does mean that when someone asks you a direct question, you give them an honest and answer. At the very least, you sleep better at night.
 
In the old days, when the British army was looking for officer material, they would ask candidates the licence number of the taxi they took. The candidate who replied that he took the bus promptly got booted out (obviously not from the right social class). The candidate who couldn't remember was also shown the door. But the candidate who made up the number on the spot got the job -- he had obviously shown some initiative.


That is the most ridiculous thing I've read all day. I hope who ever told you that one bought your drink, too.
 
That is the most ridiculous thing I've read all day. I hope who ever told you that one bought your drink, too.

It's given in one of C. Northcote Parkinson's books -- "In-laws and Outlaws" I think. For many of the senior jobs, lying is part of the real job description -- though it is never stated. In the interview process, the capacity for dissimulation may be delicately touched upon -- but again this is something you would have no idea about. The executives are expected to lie on behalf of the company. Having worked with quite a few top managers myself, I've seen lying and misrepresentation to be endemic. I've seen junior managers lying to senior ones, and senior ones keeping back key policy shifts from lower echelons, and lying to the public and to governmental agencies. You naive quant types seem to be living in an artificial bubble and making up pipe dreams of honesty and integrity. No sweat off my back.
 
You naive quant types seem to be living in an artificial bubble and making up pipe dreams of honesty and integrity. No sweat off my back.

You just sound like you're bitter and angry. And that's no sweat off my back. This entire thread should just be wiped clean from QN because it's pure garbage.
 
You naive quant types seem to be living in an artificial bubble and making up pipe dreams of honesty and integrity. No sweat off my back

You should avoid to generalize anything. There are all sorts of people reading your post. Perhaps some of them are naive by your standards. I am sure many of them aren't.

I understand your political views, you don't like corporations, any financial company, U.S. society in general. You want all financial inovation to stop, you don't believe in any modeling. In fact any new user that posts a question on this forum in the direction: "I like Math, I am thinking I can be a quant", you try to "deter" with stories about Wall Street.
Good for you. I wish you will find an opposite social system. Perhaps you should have grown up in Eastern Europe before 1989. You would have loved the life/economy/social status at that time.
 

GoIllini

Market Crises= Gray Hair
You naive quant types seem to be living in an artificial bubble and making up pipe dreams of honesty and integrity. No sweat off my back.
Oh, the naive cynicism!

My Mom was a regional manager in pharmaceutical sales and set several records for increasing prescription medicine sales for a major pharmaceutical firm back in the early '80s. If you work in sales or take care of clients, the #1 rule for creating long-term value is extremely simple:

PUT THE CLIENT FIRST!

That means NOT LYING TO HIM. You can embellish and spin a little, but when he asks you a direct question, you need to give him an honest answer. When he asks for advice, you need to give him all material information and tailor your advice so that it maximizes his interests. It's the right thing to do, but it's also pretty pragmatic in the long-run.

Lying to someone you do business with means two things:

1.) You think you're smarter than him. If you're correct, you're earning less than you can from a client who's smarter than you. If you're incorrect, your client will figure it out and leave (or worse).
2.) You put your own best interests over his. Even if he doesn't catch you, it's a natural human instinct for the client to not tell as many friends about the service he is getting from you if it isn't helping his bottom line as much.

It is extremely pragmatic to advise a client in his best interests, even if that temporarily hurts you- especially if that client has some sense of loyalty or is smarter than you. Clients that you want to keep will naturally want to stick with you and also want to pay you more in the long-run when you demonstrate more loyalty to their interests than your own when you are working for them. More importantly, if you can save them money, they will have more money to give you when they need your help for something you can create value for them on.

I have worked as a small-business owner for six years, and now as an internal technology consultant for my group at an investment bank for traders, risk-managers, and research staff for the past three years. You may be able to make money short-term by screwing people, but if your time horizon is more than 1-2 years, you do a lot better by being honest and straightforward with the people you do business with. This is the difference between long-term greed and short-term greed, and long-term greed always wins.

---------- Post added at 11:20 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:04 AM ----------

You should avoid to generalize anything. There are all sorts of people reading your post. Perhaps some of them are naive by your standards. I am sure many of them aren't.

I understand your political views, you don't like corporations, any financial company, U.S. society in general. You want all financial inovation to stop, you don't believe in any modeling. In fact any new user that posts a question on this forum in the direction: "I like Math, I am thinking I can be a quant", you try to "deter" with stories about Wall Street.
Good for you. I wish you will find an opposite social system. Perhaps you should have grown up in Eastern Europe before 1989. You would have loved the life/economy/social status at that time.

I hope you're right in that he's just making some sort of political rant. The market crash just got all the liars out of the industry- I was hoping they'd stay out for another year or two and focus on big-government politics like they usually do during a recession.
 
I like the first part of your post. Perhaps people thinking about the amount of lies to enrich the CV, should re-read it. After all, Wall Street quant finance is a pretty small world.

I hope you're right in that he's just making some sort of political rant. The market crash just got all the liars out of the industry- I was hoping they'd stay out for another year or two and focus on big-government politics like they usually do during a recession.

Well I am sure that bigbadwolf wouldn't call it a rant, probably he would say it is an honest direct statement. However by many standards of these "naive quants" it is a rant. :)
 
Originally Posted by Stefan Zota

You should avoid to generalize anything. There are all sorts of people reading your post. Perhaps some of them are naive by your standards. I am sure many of them aren't.

I understand your political views, you don't like corporations, any financial company, U.S. society in general. You want all financial inovation to stop, you don't believe in any modeling. In fact any new user that posts a question on this forum in the direction: "I like Math, I am thinking I can be a quant", you try to "deter" with stories about Wall Street.
Good for you. I wish you will find an opposite social system. Perhaps you should have grown up in Eastern Europe before 1989. You would have loved the life/economy/social status at that time.

Reminds me of a guy I used to work with at my last job originally from Romania who would always blame the financial engineers and richer people for making money and creating problems for the rest of the world. On street while I admired expensive cars he would always sneer at them. All he wanted was to own a bread store so that he will not need to work too much for everyone has to buy bread. Some people just can't get over the good lazy days of socialism.
 
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