Fraudulently Padding a Resume

How to land a job you are completely unqualified to perform (do no try this at home… unless you want go to jail):

  • Step One: Make up a bunch of stuff that isn’t true and put it on your resume
  • Step Two: Create a fake industry association and give it an official sounding name
  • Step Three: Announce you won a major award from your fake organization
  • Step Four: Start sending out resumes
  • Step Five: Tell employers you lost the supporting information such as licenses, diplomas, etc.
  • Step Six: Plan an awards banquet for your fake organization and invite 30+ people, including your perspective boss
  • Step Seven: Give the people attending the banquet scripts telling them what to say and how to compliment you in front of your perspective boss
  • Step Eight: Leverage your dishonesty to get free room and board for three to five years from the state prison system

This system is proven effective (especially step 8) and was used by a woman in Connecticut.

Unfortunately, there are people who think this eight step plan is a good idea.  If you’re looking for a job and are missing a key credential, it can be very frustrating.  There are reasons why certain credentials are required – for example, an RN in a doctor’s office should have a nursing license.  For one “Nurse of the Year,” the lack of credentials didn’t stop her, at least initially.

Betty Lichtenstein was recently arrested for illegally using the title “Registered Nurse” and reckless endangerment and criminal impersonation.  Various news outlets are reporting how Betty claimed she lost her RN license.  To get around this, she created a fictitious “Connecticut Nursing Association” and gave herself the Nurse of the Year award.  She staged a dinner with about 30 people where her perspective boss could see the award presented to her (the dinner cost her over $2,000).

I see a fair bit of lying and deception on resumes by job seekers.  The big stuff, like fake degrees is easy to spot.  For other lies, it takes a little more work to uncover.  This is why most employers, particularly larger companies, will not shortcut their background checks.

Lying to obtain a position as a medical practitioner carries with it significantly greater criminal implications than many other fields.  In Lichtenstein’s case, she’s looking at the possibility of 5 years in jail.  There are a wide range of laws that prohibit lying employment applications or defrauding companies or government entities to get a job.

Additionally, the news articles published on Betty’s story will stay on the internet forever.  A simple google search of her name will uncover these stories and will make her ability to get a job much more difficult. Who want’s to hire someone who would lie to this degree.

The most common lie I find on resumes (mainly because it’s the easiest and fastest to check) is the use of a fake degree to boost a person’s education.  There are tons of diploma mills that will sell a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD.  Some offer overnight shipping and next day service.  All you have to do is write a check.  These are easy to spot.  Just go to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and search for the school (

If you want to learn more about Betty Lichtenstein, “Nurse of the Year from the Connecticut Nursing Association”, check out