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What Happens When You Lie on Your Resume

Lying on your resume—is it mission impossible?

Lying on your resume—is it mission impossible?

One Person Wrote "Resume Impossible"

Lying on your resume will be discovered when a potential employer checks your references or perhaps takes note of a job or several jobs in which your former employers are now closed for business or dead.

The larger the lie and the more famous, talented, or intelligent you seem to be in a high-end job, the more likely you will be discovered as a resume fraud. Then, social media will become involved, make the situation sound even worse, and perhaps destroy all your means of livelihood.

Potential employers who have worked hard in their careers and know how work experience and education credentials are earned will often be able to spot false resume entries very quickly. If your resume reflects unreasonable entries for job promotions, raises, record breaking, and awards, you may be investigated in depth.

Such was the case on cable TV's Food Network.

The Robert Irvine Lie

Food Network's new wonder-working food engineer was Robert Irvine.

He could prepare a dinner for one thousand with only a sous chef, some volunteers, and no food in the pantry.

Robert learned these skills in Her Majesty's Royal Navy and learned them well. He was something akin to being right out of the film Under Siege, and he looked like it. He was also personable. Audiences reacted well to his program offerings on the air.

Chef Irvine may have felt that his resume was not "good enough" for the "wealthy Americans." At any rate, he wanted to impress and put on a good show. He did that well but began to add something.

He likely followed bad advice or bad examples when he falsified part of his resume. More correctly, he made some exaggerations and perhaps a lie, even though he was skilled enough to carry out his television show duties, draw large audiences, and write popular cookbooks.

After two years on the air in America, it all caught up with him.

Lady Diana's wedding cake

Lady Diana's wedding cake

An Impossible Cake

Chef Irvine was informed that his contract would not be renewed for Dinner: Impossible, an entertaining and intriguing food show that teaches the viewer how to get things done efficiently, quickly, and with beauty, as well as good taste and texture.

The chef's worst resume violation was mentioning the dead, who could not testify otherwise.

He had reported that he had worked on Princess Diana's and Prince Charles's primary wedding cake—an English fruitcake weighing over 360 pounds and standing tall in five tiers.

It was glorious in its ornate and intricate side panels, telling the history of the Royal Windsors and Spencers in icing.

Unfortunately, he did not work on it. At Royal Naval culinary school in Chatham Kent, Head Chef David Avery made the cake and took 14 weeks to complete it, making a second, identical version in case of a cake disaster.

Chef Irvine helps the US Navy

Chef Irvine helps the US Navy

You May or Not Have a Second Chance at Success

Chef Irvine admitted to exaggerating on his resume and in his promotional biography for Food Network. He received a second chance to write about his actual work experiences, which were impressive by themselves, even if lesser than what he had formerly reported. He has become even more successful since his resume misadventure.

For non-celebrities in the workplace and those hoping to get into a job, such second chances often do not happen.

Moral of the Misadventure: Do not lie on your resume. Research your future employer and understand the corporate culture before you apply for the job. Show that you can do the job better than they expect because you have drive, integrity, imagination, and know-how. You're a fast learner; you can take direction. You can do it without false embellishments on your resume. Believe in yourself.

Employers cannot afford to hire resume liars.

— Donald Trump, Trump Initiative Blog

Some of Robert Irvine's Real Awards

  • Ambassador of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA)
  • Chef Professional from La Toque Blanche International
  • Culinary Excellence Award of the CIA, 2001
  • Medal of Honor Society's Bob Hope Award for Excellence in Entertainment
  • US Navy Honorary Chief Petty Officer

Mission: Food Network

Unfortunately, for parents that attempt to train their children in what is right and wrong and for career coaches who advise clients to practice resume integrity and solid work ethics, the children and clients sometimes do not heed the good advice. Resulting disappointments abound for all.

Food Network replaced Chef Irvine short-term, but audiences liked Robert better, so back he came. Sadly, his new missions on Dinner Impossible were so difficult that it was almost totally impossible to meet the demands of each show.

It was unfair of FN to ask Irvine back to the air and then punish him for coming back.

On one of the new missions, Chef Irvine was presented with his challenge and then shown a kitchen that had absolutely no equipment or appliances, as well as no food. He had to obtain the appliances and related items and then build the kitchen first. He succeeded in that episode anyway.

Moral: Some employers can be unethical at times.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2008 Patty Inglish MS


Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on March 05, 2008:

It seems that he thought that Americans must all be so wealthy and hard to impress that he had to lie to make himself look better. That was as you say, a lesson. His hard work and skills would have been enough and America would have liked him even better.

Abhinaya on March 04, 2008:

Why would one lie on such a thing,I mean his field was altogether different and.... just for money and fame? He learn't a lesson though.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on March 04, 2008:

I really hope so as well. He was exceptional in creatng lovely banquets against impossible odds by taking command and using good survival skills and ingenuity. He also got people working together with an intitial agreement that the goal was to fulfill the mission, not to assert personalities.

Lying on resumes sometimes is seen by these folks as survival, but it does not usually work out. I myself had two HR types tell me to lie and put more on my resume. Great Ceasar's Ghost! -- I have too much on it already.

Thanks for vsiting, cgull8m. You always have interesting input.


cgull8m from North Carolina on March 04, 2008:

This is what happen when some one lies it ruins everything he got so far. Hope he learned the lesson and try to come back with his own talents.

sudamaprasad on March 04, 2008:

you are welcome

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on March 04, 2008:

MrMarmalade, thank you for your profound observations, I wonder what Segal is doing these days?

sudamaprasad - many thanks for the comment.

sudamaprasad on March 03, 2008:

Very interesting

MrMarmalade from Sydney on March 03, 2008:

A pertinent hub

Least said to the aside of your resume, the better you will be

I do like Steven Segal

He does not seem to around much these days

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on March 03, 2008:

He has a new website:

Going into sales...

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on March 03, 2008:

Yes, and it is an example to those looking for work that they want to keep.

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on March 03, 2008:

Wow - I didn't know about this story. A hard lesson to learn.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on March 03, 2008:

I agree that it is too bad. A part of America loved him because he was much like the heor that Steven Segal attempted to give us inthe movies.

We need heros, even in the kitchen. I hope for him the best in a restaurant chain or even a show with another network.

How sad that Americans are thought to be all wealthy and arrogant and dunning.

Peter M. Lopez from Sweetwater, TX on March 03, 2008:

Too bad. I've only seen the show a few times, but I enjoyed it. Interesting hub.