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5 Most Impressive High Profile Resume Liars

Sep 08 2015

Lie it’s something better to leave off your resume, but studies have shown that up to 50% do the opposite thing. We’ll lie about anything, but the most common topics are our education, job titles, and length of experience.  With frequency of fibbers rising during the long period of recession, even high profile executives aren’t immune to a little – or a lot – of resume padding.

Scott Thompson, CEO of Yahoo

In 2012, Yahoo was a company under intense pressure.  Where once it was the most visited website in the world, pressure from Facebook and Google had left it run ragged. Scott Thompson’s firing came at the end of a series of management mishaps further destabilizing the company.

His crime? Saying his degree was in computer science – the truth was he graduated as an accountant. In Silicon Valley, some crimes just can’t be forgiven. In two weeks, he was replaced. He then went on to become the CEO of Shoprunner, an Amazon competitor.

Jack Grubman, Financial Analyst for Salomon Smith BarneyJack Grubman, Financial Analyst for Salomon Smith Barney

This former hotshot analyst was once paid upwards of $20 million a year, but lied about which university he attended. While the subject was correct, he claimed he graduated not from the acceptable Boston University, but the much more prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He was not actually fired for his resume lies, he was instead barred from Wall Street and fined $15 million for providing misleading information to telecom companies. He now works with his self-found Magee Group… providing strategic information to telecom companies.

Marilee Jones, Dean of Admissions for MIT


Marilee Jones, Dean of Admissions for MIT

Listing both a bachelor’s and master’s degree amongst her qualifications, Marilee Jones managed a 28-year career as Dean of Admissions for the Massachusetts before an anonymous tip in 2007 informed the school she had no degree at all. Despite decades of excelling in her role and a published book, she was let go when the school discovered her early lies.  She is now admissions consultant at Berklee College of Music.

Laura Callahan, Department of Homeland Security

Laura Callahan, Department of Homeland Security

You’d think those responsible for catching terrorists would conduct iron reference checks, but Laura Callahan held her position with the Department of Homeland Security for years before a disgruntled subordinate decided to check her credentials.

Her doctorate in computer science turned out to be purchased from an unaccredited diploma mill – along with two more degrees, all earned in a single year. After Callahan was placed on compulsory leave in 2003, the revelation caused the U.S. Government to check its employees’ history with a fine-tooth comb, outing 500 more phony diplomas – more than half in the Department of Defense.


Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan

Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan

Daughter of West Virginia Governer Joe Manchin, Heather Bresch received an Executive Masters in Business Administration from West Virginia University. So far, so good – until it came to light that she completed only half of the required credits. Her credentials were not just falsified by her own hand; several school administrators were involved in the deception.

While the fall-out resulted in the resignation of the University President, Heather Bresch’s career was unaffected – 18 years on, she continues as the CEO of pharmaceutical company Mylan.

Only a few high-profile cases kept their job when their lie was discovered, it’s not worth the risk. Using a professional resume writing service is a better method to show your strengths without fibbing about your experience.