The Key HR Takeaway from Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson’s Resume Debacle

by HR Communication

If we can learn anything from the fib Yahoo’s CEO Scott Thompson purportedly made on his resume, it’s that fact-checking should be a matter of course.

“It’s an all-too-familiar story,” writes Gil Rudawsky in a post for Ragan’s HR Communication. “Over the last several years, there have been numerous top executives caught ‘misstating’ their résumés, including top bosses at RadioShack, Herbalife, MGM Mirage, and Bausch & Lomb.” The fall-out from the revelation that Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson falsely claimed he had a degree in computer science has sent the company into full crisis mode, leaving many to wonder a) why such a seemingly pointless lie was necessary, and b) what went wrong with Yahoo’s vetting process.

“If the professional world is going to learn from these examples, this latest instance should prompt us to fact-check our corporate executive profiles, including those posted on LinkedIn,” Rudawsky argues. A little time spent fact checking now can help prevent a massive amount of damage control in the future. “According to, just 5 percent of workers admitted fibbing on their résumés,  but 57 percent of hiring managers say they have caught a lie in a candidate’s application,” writes Rudawsky. What are the odds that someone in your organization may have a potentially embarrassing “mistatement” come to light? For more on how your company’s HR department can learn from Yahoo’s mistakes, read the full post here.

Related Content from OpenView:

Lying may be the biggest resume mistake you can make, but there are certainly others. Read this post from the OpenView Blog for the top eight resume blunders to avoid. And for more on proper resume screening, read this post from OpenView.