It's a tough world out there for the job hunter. And who among us hasn't stretched the truth just a little bit in the resume department? Working at Subway counts as a sales job, right?
Actually, your problem may be that you're just not thinking big enough. Sit back and take a lesson from the all-time-great resume bullshitters ...
Highly decorated retired Lt. Col. Jay Cafasso worked as an expert consultant for Fox News during their coverage of the invasion of Afghanistan. And who better to help Fox producers navigate the byzantine insider world of the U.S. military than a man who had served in Vietnam and was honored with the Silver Star for bravery? Cafasso's resume didn't end with the war in Vietnam, either -- in 1980, he was part of "Operation Eagle Claw," the failed secret mission to rescue U.S. hostages in Iran. So he was a member of some losing teams, but you probably can't blame him for that. The point was the man knew war and counter-terrorism first-hand.
The only thing he feared was a toothbrush.
Unfortunately, he was also a bit of a know-it-all dick and his demeanor began to wear on the nerves of some staff members. The Washington bureau chief for Fox News, Kim Hume, finally decided to let him go. Still, his employers held him in high regard -- in an email message to the staff, Hume wrote that Fox's "military and counter-terrorism consultant," Mr. Cafasso, "made crucial contributions to our coverage of the war on terror" and helped take "Fox's war coverage to the next level."
Brit and Kim Hume play a friendly game of Dueling Strokes for the camera.
Cafasso had been let go due to his brusque personality, but what the news hounds at Fox failed to uncover was that Cafasso was a complete fraud.
His only military experience had been 44 days of boot camp in 1976, after which he had been discharged -- presumably for being a dick.
He also claimed he was The Rock, but he totally wasn't.
It wasn't until an outside researcher who had worked with Cafasso hired investigators to look into his background and brought his findings to the network that the ruse was revealed, after which we can only assume the minds behind Fox News tried to fire Cafasso again. But, hey, at least he was just acting as a war expert for cable news, and didn't have an important job in homeland security or anything ...
Dr. Laura Callahan literally held one of the most important IT positions in the country as the Department of Homeland Security's Deputy Chief Information Officer. We're talking about the person who managed databases full of information on terrorists here.
And for good reason: She had spent years holding that position with the Department of Labor and had a Ph.D. in computer science along with multiple other degrees.
She's been playin' since beta, bitches!
And if you didn't know that, she'd be happy to tell you. She made it more than clear to everyone within earshot of her that she was the preeminent expert in her field. She led with a "My Way or the Highway" management style and even the slightest questioning of her knowledge or authority could lead to a reprimand or termination. She demanded to be addressed as "Doctor" at all times and mentioned her degree nine times in her single-page biography.
And why not? She earned that shit.
... Didn't she?
Eh, maybe not. After years of this, a low-level employee in the government did some digging and found out that Callahan's Ph.D., and actually all three of her degrees, had been purchased from an online diploma mill within the space of one year. In a cunning move that would impress the highest pedigree of master criminals, Callahan had them all back dated to make it appear she received them at the appropriate points in her career.
Let us remind you: Department of Homeland Security's Deputy Chief Information Officer. That meant Callahan was privy to highly classified material and was responsible for kind of important things like, well, homeland security. All thanks to three fake degrees that managed to fool the federal government but were no match for some random guy with Google.
Gonna have to narrow that down.
Of course this has to make you wonder if other high-level federal employees pulled the same trick. Thankfully the Government Accountability Office looked into it and only found about 500 people who did the same thing, more than half in the Department of Defense.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, is known for two things: being incredibly difficult to get into and having the nerdiest undergrads in the country. So as Dean of Admissions at MIT, Marilee Jones was the gatekeeper for a school known for rigorous admission standards, and as such, had a pretty impressive pedigree herself. She boasted of degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Union College and Albany Medical College, which is more than most evil geniuses.
Had to settle for his second choice of Sioux Falls Cosmetology School.
In 2001, Jones received MIT's Excellence Award for Leading Change, which recognized Jones' leadership as dean of admissions. She also co-authored the book Less Stress, More Success: A New Approach to Guiding Your Teen Through College Admissions and Beyond.
We're just going to assume that the other author was Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue.
In an eerily prescient quote from the book, Jones said, "Holding integrity is sometimes very hard to do because the temptation may be to cheat or cut corners. But just remember that 'what goes around comes around,' meaning that life has a funny way of giving back what you put out." And while still holding the position of dean of admissions at MIT, Jones delivered a speech at her daughter's 2006 commencement from Middlesex School, advising the graduates to "create your own reality."
Yeah, you know where this is going.
After an anonymous tip to the university, it was revealed that Jones had made up her entire educational history -- she had no degree from any of the three schools she claimed. She had been fudging her credentials while making sure others didn't do the same ... for 28 freaking years.
That's bullshitting since the disco era, kids.
Yes, not only did MIT fail to catch her when she was hired, but also failed to notice her complete lack of qualifications in all of the years since she started in 1979.