If you falsify your resume, and then do well at your job, the lies might go undiscovered for years.
Once someone gets his or her first job based on a fraudulent CV, promotions or moves to new employers can come easily, and without any reexamination of the original misstatement.
That’s the lesson learned by Jon Andrewes, a former U.K. social worker and probation officer who in 2004, at age 51, applied for a job as head of a hospice. He said on his resumes applying for that and other jobs with the National Health Service that he had two PhDs, one in business administration and another in “ethics management,” plus a master’s degree, according to news accounts. In fact, he had only a higher education diploma in social work and a teaching certificate.
Two years in prison
He also claimed falsely to have worked in the U.K. Home Office. Andrewes pleaded guilty in Exeter Crown Court to two counts of fraud and one count of taking money by deception, and was sentenced to two years in prison, according to news articles.
Once he was working at the NHS, Andrewes’ job performance was regarded as strong, and he headed a series of NHS trusts or geographical groupings. The U.K. government recently responded to an open-records request by disclosing that Andrewes’ fabrications were not discovered when he sought his first NHS job, and that once he joined “he was well known to the NHS with a strong performance history,” which the officials said was one reason they never did a later due-diligence check.
Twelve years after his original hiring, the U.K. Health Department’s anti-fraud unit discovered his lies, and told other authorities, according to the open-records disclosure. (It didn’t disclose how the unit learned about it.)
At sentencing, Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC told Andrewes that “for a period of over 10 years your outwardly prestigious life was based upon a lie, a series of staggering lies.” Andrewes’ attorney, Ros Collins, said that he was regretful at his “sheer stupidity,” and that he started embellishing his resume to get a “foot in the door…These things happen where people inflate their CV out of desperation to get work.”