Where we've been, what we've done, the education we received and the jobs we've held should be a matter of factual record. They aren't the things about us that matter most, however, except to the extent they provide the context for career accomplishments. The truth of those things provides a foundation for talking about experience gained, lessons learned and worthwhile achievements along the way.
If someone is willing to falsify the basic facts of where they have been and what they have done, is it reasonable to expect anyone to believe their stated capabilities and accomplishments? The flawed thought process of such individuals defies logic. I've never hired someone solely based upon their background, but I certainly have decided not to hire based upon misrepresentations.
Over time, our work becomes our résumé. We all leave a verifiable trail behind us. That trail either affirms, or denies, what we aspire to accomplish next. When it is clear and easily followed, so is the path forward; when it is obscured or brushed over, it raises questions about direction and intentions.
The other troubling thing about such misrepresentations, if blindly believed by others, is that they attempt to diminish the accomplishments of those who actually did the work. It's like when someone jumps into the last mile of the Boston Marathon and pretends that he or she ran the entire race. Their pretend performance is a work of fiction.
The good news here is that pretenses are easily seen through by those who wisely take the time to verify background and experience. As time has gone by, I've come to fully appreciate the wisdom of President Ronald Reagan's words when he said: "Trust but Verify."
Honesty and integrity are our most prized possessions. A business is nothing more or less than the integrity of the people it hires.