What I Learned From Lying On My Resume

jarjarthinks's picture
Rank: Baboon | 154

In this incredibly competitive industry, I figured someone might be curious if anyone had ever lied on their resume to gain a more favorable appearance and land interviews. I have, and here is my story.

A few important things about me:

1) I attend a Non-Target State school on the West coast.
2) I had very few connections to Wall Street, but consider myself an above average networker.
3) I learned more about myself and the finance industry throughout this experience than I could have possibly imagined.

When I was a sophomore in undergrad, I began to develop an interest in finance and began to do a bit of research on my own. Through online research and reading forums such as this one, I learned that there were target schools and non-target schools that the biggest banks in the world primarily recruited from. I have always been a competitive person and like to challenge myself, so I began to ask myself the question "Why not me?". I have a very close relationship to the Dean of the business school I attend and I reached out to him to see if he had any contacts in the NYC area who would be willing to help out a young guy like me. He introduced me to a few people and gave me a list of alumni that I could cold contact, and I began to network. At the time I simply felt a feeling in my heart to get out to NY but had no industry knowledge... AKA I had no idea what the hell I was talking about, and just about every alumni who had responded to my initial outreaches became aware of this after having conversations with me.

However, I was learning and picking up on how to effectively communicate with these people more and more with each conversation. After many unsuccessful attempts to establish genuine and valuable relationships, I hit a gold mine. I contacted an alumnus who for some reason saw something in me and began to tell me about what he did and train me to get ready for the interview process that was upcoming. I couldn't believe my luck, and was incredibly thankful for the opportunity to have such a helpful person on my side. He worked in the sales side of S&T at a top Bulge Bracket firm, and he invited me to go to a networking event to get to know more people in the firm. I of course went to the event, and hit it off with the people I met with, and at this event I also learned that the alum I had been talking to for a few months was the head of non-target school recruiting. I thought I was going to fall over- GOLD MINE. After the event, I was notified that I would be put through an accelerated interview process. I was on cloud nine. I couldn't believe how lucky I was and how many things had fallen into place to help me accomplish my dream.

HERE'S THE FATAL MISTAKE: before all of this happened, I filled out my application and submitted a resume that showed an exaggerated GPA, because I did not think I even stood a chance at landing a first round with a place like this. I know now how incredibly stupid this was, so feel free to eat shit if you want to comment and tell me this, I KNOW.

I had a super day fast approaching and several people in the organization mock interviewing me, prepping me and introducing me to other's in the firm. I was in the perfect place to land an offer, but began to realize how hard everyone I was speaking with had worked to get to this point and it was eating away at me inside. After consulting several people who I trusted dearly and getting very mixed answers to what they thought I should do, I cancelled my super day and apologized to all the people I had been in contact with. Those were some of the hardest conversations I have had in my life and they were not happy, obviously.

I was devastated. I had just fucked up what at the time I thought was the best opportunity I would ever get in my entire life. I was actually depressed for a good month or so, but felt good about the decision I had made to do what was right. Later in the same month that I cancelled my interview, I received an offer to take a corporate finance internship that was a 6-month full-time job DURING the school year. At this moment, I was sure as hell that I did not want to work in corporate finance, but saw the unique situation this would put me in. It would delay my schooling enough for me to get another shot at getting out to Wall St and NYC for an internship- the dream was still alive!

I accepted the Corp Fin. Internship knowing that I had no desire to work there full time, and put my life on pause with the intention to keep my dream alive. The corporate finance job was great experience, but I fucking hated it. I learned a ton about myself and that hard work is always appreciated even if you don't love what you do everyday. Because I worked my ass off at work and was hitting the networking grind as hard as I could, I was also able to land a summer internship at small, but respected West coast Asset Management firm during the summer that I would have spent in NYC had I not been a dumb ass.

Guess what- I fucking loved every second of what I was doing and realized that I was way better fit to do Asset Management than I would have been doing S&T. I found my passion and began to set my sights on NYC again, cold emailing and calling firms that I was interested for the upcoming summer. I was relentless, and made numerous meaningful contacts that were happy to help me learn about each firm and job title that I was interested in.

I did it right this time, and my resume reflected exactly who I am and what I had accomplished. I received super days at each of my targeted firms, and Just two weeks ago I accepted an offer that I have dreamed about for years. Redemption is sweet, and doing it with the experience I had a year earlier made it that much sweeter.

What did I learn that I think some fellow monkeys can take away?

1) Your character is the best part of who you are. Never compromise it, and always always tell the truth.

2) I learned that the reason I was able to make it so far the first time was not because of my GPA or my resume. It was who I am as a person. They loved who I was, and I had believed the lie that I wasn't good enough. Please don't believe that you aren't good enough just because you don't have a 4.0 or go to HPY. You can do anything if you are passionate and relentless.

3) Do the right thing. It might seem hard to do at times, but it will serve you well in your careers and lives.

4) Chase your dreams and don't give up, ever.

Comments (75)

Oct 26, 2016

How much did you exaggerate your GPA by?

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Oct 26, 2016

Business ethics is an ADAMANT quality to have so as not to have your soul eaten inside out. It can most likely help you out in all aspect of life - career, family, character.

Groveling in business loopholes and fucking over your clients will eat the fuck away out of your soul. Not worth. This is why most lawyers have next to no soul. The most prestigious law firms are liberal - they bend the law to their will, loosening it to cater towards their victory. It's no longer who you're representing. It's how beautiful and sweet your words are. Devil's got their tongue, if you know what I mean.

Good job, OP. You learned from your mistake.

Edit: (By the way, who uploads the pictures adjacent to the title? Those are some interesting choices.)

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Oct 26, 2016

Your mention of lawyers just reminded me of that story of the Harvard undergrad that had a book deal, but it turned out she plagiarized some of her novel.

She ended up going to Georgetown for her law degree and then interned at Sullivan Cromwell. (Though the link also mentions her parents died in a plane crash, damn).

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_Opal_Mehta_Got...
https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2012/08/21/5-famou...

Oct 27, 2016

i upload the pictures, feedback is always welcome

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Oct 27, 2016

Just my 2c, whenever I scroll down and see the pictures... My "fast" thinking categorizes them as ads or clickbait ... It's the pictures used! Too big and too generic.

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Oct 26, 2016

so agree! Loved your line "Your character is the best part of who you are. Never compromise it, and always always tell the truth." Can not agree more!

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Oct 29, 2016

lolwat

Oct 29, 2016

Congrats on repeating the plot of Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead.

Oct 29, 2016

dude, I think you've been watching a little too much Devil Wears Prada.

Oct 29, 2016

dafaq is this?

Oct 29, 2016

Did you consult with Franklin in the factory? I heard he's the top designer.

Oct 29, 2016

Right on top of that, Blueapple.

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Oct 29, 2016

dafuq did I just read?

Oct 29, 2016

What in the hell...

Oct 29, 2016

Looking at your poster history, you appear to be a bigger idiot than even this thread would indicate. Good luck.

P.S. You do know that people can view your post history right?

Oct 29, 2016
Anihilist:

Looking at your poster history, you appear to be a bigger idiot than even this thread would indicate. Good luck.

P.S. You do know that people can view your post history right?

Yes I do. Although maintaining my credibility on WSO isn't at the top of priority list at the moment. It was a harmless attempt at humor (perhaps a failed one).

Don't know why you took it so personally. Or perhaps you're really confused because you've never seen Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter is Dead. If that's the case, it appears you are the one who is in need of luck.

Oct 29, 2016

Park it yourself Metallica breath.

Oct 26, 2016

Good character generally makes for a virtuous cycle. It's honestly very hard to argue the opposite.

Oct 29, 2016

Terrible troll post.

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Oct 29, 2016
DickFuld:

Terrible troll post.

I'm honored to have been called a terrible troll by the "CEO" of Lehman, lol. I know I fucked up. Can I have some advice?

Oct 29, 2016

Not sure if anyone calls Point 72, ".72" lol. Troll post.

Oct 29, 2016

that's what the insiders call it. we plebs just don't get it

Oct 26, 2016

Good job OP. Great story - obviously people like to hear that someone with a lower gpa didn't exaggerate their score the first time, but for you to own up to it so close to the finish line is incredibly difficult to do.

Have you been able to patch things up with the people who helped you out before? I guess if I were them I'd be pretty pissed, but I would also be kind of impressed.

Oct 29, 2016

They do not care. It has nothing to do with your qualifications. Get some sleep.

Oct 29, 2016

If you lied and said you were an investment banking analyst instead of an operations analyst that might be an issue, this most likely isn't.

Oct 29, 2016

No way. I specifically told them on all of my interviews when they asked what I did at Bear over the summer the first thing I say is that I interned in Operations Administration.

Oct 29, 2016

Brooklyn is a part of NYC, so no, you're not lying...

Oct 29, 2016

seriously, you are fine. i would not worry.

Oct 29, 2016

I thought Brooklyn is in NYC?

Oct 29, 2016

Brooklyn is in NYC, so no worries. there is no separate address, just like you don't address something to Manhattan, NYC, NY

Oct 29, 2016

Thanks guys!

I didn't think it'd be a problem and didn't think twice about it until my gf started to read on her about people who lied on their resume and it was found in their background check and their offer was withdrawn.

Thanks for the opinions and reassurances!!

Oct 29, 2016

Don't worry, you should be on cloud 9 right now.

Good luck.

Oct 29, 2016

congrats on the job. you didn't lie.

Oct 29, 2016

Brooklyn = New York (City), NY, as do the other 4 boroughs....

Oct 29, 2016

technically it is a fabrication.

new york, ny is manhattan

brooklyn, ny is brooklyn

queens, ny is queens

etc.

new york, ny does not mean NYC

it will probably come up in your background check, the firm the bank hires will flag it. i doubt the bank will care - it's not like sarasota, fl. if the bank asks just say i was in nyc. that will only work if you're not from the tri-state area, which i'm assuming you aren't. that should be the end of story, as the background check confirmed employment.

Oct 29, 2016

"new york, NY" is not only Manhattan. It would include also Queens, Brooklyn and Bronx. Manhattan has never been geographically synonymous with NY. But really, who cares? to the original poster: you are whiter than white.

Oct 29, 2016

Danny_ish, you CLEARLY know nothing about how New York works. Anybody who lives and works in the city knows that NYC is too broad for obvious reasons for everything to be "New York, NY". The ONLY borough in New York City that is "New York, NY" is Manhattan. Brooklyn, NY. Queens, NY (which some even have further breakdowns by neighborhood -- ie. Jamaica, NY). Staten Island, NY. Bronx, NY. Don't comment on something you know nothing about it.

To the op -- technically, New York, NY is a lie. However, it is clearly a minor detail and can obviously be covered by simply saying "I thought all five boroughs could be listed under New York, NY". Seriously, not a big deal at all.

Oct 29, 2016
Krakauer:

Danny_ish, you CLEARLY know nothing about how New York works. Anybody who lives and works in the city knows that NYC is too broad for obvious reasons for everything to be "New York, NY". The ONLY borough in New York City that is "New York, NY" is Manhattan. Brooklyn, NY. Queens, NY (which some even have further breakdowns by neighborhood -- ie. Jamaica, NY). Staten Island, NY. Bronx, NY. Don't comment on something you know nothing about it.

To the op -- technically, New York, NY is a lie. However, it is clearly a minor detail and can obviously be covered by simply saying "I thought all five boroughs could be listed under New York, NY". Seriously, not a big deal at all.

No, that's not what technically means. Technically means regardless of what's common, what is "technically" correct. Technically, he is correct. But in common use, as you point out, he would be wrong or uninformed.

Oct 29, 2016

Well did you WORK for Bear Stearns? If so, then I don't see a problem...the only way I might see a problem is if you worked for a subcontractor of Bear Stearns and put down Bear Stearns.

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

Oct 29, 2016

Thanks everyone.

Oct 29, 2016

Goodness if any of your interviewers are reading this, they'd probably know who you are already.

Oct 29, 2016

If they object, just tell them it was a mistake.

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

Oct 29, 2016

You're kidding right??? You do know that Brooklyn IS in New York, New York, right??

Oct 29, 2016

Hey douche bag, this thread was 5 years old. Bear Sterns doesn't even exist anymore. Stop picking fights with people who are probably VP's by now.

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Oct 29, 2016
randomwench:

Hey douche bag, this thread was 5 years old. Bear Sterns doesn't even exist anymore. Stop picking fights with people who are probably VP's by now.

It must be hard to know what a douche bag is when you are one. Let me explain for you: a douche bag is someone with obnoxious characteristics. That would be you, who picked a fight with someone who simply replied that it wouldn't be lying.That would also be the person who repeatedly and condescendingly stated that it is tantamount to lying by listing "New York" on someone's resume when he in fact worked in Brooklyn. I sincerely doubt that someone who takes the time to say that's a lie would be at the VP level now. He'd more likely be fired or write one of those "fuck banking" posts, like you most likely will. So thanks for picking a fight, douche bag.

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Best Response
Oct 26, 2016

How do you "exaggerate" a number that is provided to you by your school and is on your transcript? You can exaggerate qualitative statements or projected numbers. If a number is reported as X and you say Y, that's just straight up lying.

But more importantly, you withdrew your application long before anyone was even going start to check anything, called your contacts who had bent over backwards to help you and told them you're a liar and that you are removing yourself from the process because your lying, treacherous ways bring shame upon the family? What is this, an episode on the Disney Channel?

You could have:
A) Shown up to the interview with an "updated" resume;
B) Emailed HR or whoever you were in contact with and said a couple things were wrong, and submitted corrected application materials
C) If you REALLY felt yourself unworthy, then you could have withdrawn your application and told your contacts you won't recruit this summer due to unforeseen circumstances but still plan to recruit for full-time, you appreciate their help and want to stay in contact blah blah blah

You're acting like you committed a heinous crime and set out to repent your sins in some sort of cathartic release. You messed up a number on your resume, it happens all the time. Just correct it and move on with your life.

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Oct 27, 2016

everyone has a different moral compass....

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Oct 27, 2016

Exaggerate by definition means to represent something as being larger, greater, better, or worse than it really is. Exaggerating is sometimes synonymous with lying. He used the correct terminology.

Oct 26, 2016

People post the stupidest shit on WSO these days looking for a pat on the back from randoms online.

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Oct 27, 2016

i dont think he/she was necessarily looking for a pat on the back, moreso maybe looking to teach others tempted to do the same. + how much value does an anonymous pat on the back really have?

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

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Oct 26, 2016

To the young bloods that try this and get caught...just tell the team its an adjusted gpa - bankers are well versed is bullshit addbacks to get a number they want. Who knows might even get a a direct promote to Associate for having a better understanding of how to position something for a sale.

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Oct 27, 2016

"Adjusted GPA*"

    • Represents GPA of core courses in Winter semester of odd number school years between 2014 and 2016
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Oct 27, 2016

Excludes grades deflated from one time parties the night before a midterm

Oct 28, 2016

I calculate my class ranking like banks do league tables

Top of Class* (* denotes grades for last 5 months, excluding group projects and accounting courses, for non-Asian business students living on-campus)

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Oct 27, 2016

Acknowledging the obvious mistake and all...I don't think this post should get an ounce of MS. He grew up and matured in that moment faster than anyone of his peers. He made a mistake, but had the self-awareness to understand the consequences it could bring and took control of the situation himself. It's when you make a habit of a constant mistake is when you get into trouble.

Well done.

Oct 27, 2016

I agree with @spreadsheetmoney204 on this one. Although it's good that you've learned from this mistake, but it was all avoidable to be honest. Simple tweak to the resume would have done it.

In my honest opinion, your biggest mistake was burning bridges with those contacts that went to bat for you. Although it's not impossible to earn their trust again, it was a huge hit to your first impression.

\

Oct 27, 2016

I (like others) think you should have never exaggerated in the first place, but it certainly must have been hard to own up to it right before the offer. I think you did the right thing in the end for what it's worth, and you have a better outcome to show for it as well.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there" - Will Rogers

Oct 27, 2016

I respect you for doing that. I went to a Super-day, and one of the guys I knew there lost his chance for the role when they called him over mid way through our day of interviews to "clarify his transcript discrepancy". I think it was like .1 or .2 off on his GPA.

At the end of the day, they may not respect you for what you did at the time, but if you manage to keep those contacts in the green I'd imagine they would continue to help you out. They know you are passionate about what you do and you work hard to get it.

...

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Oct 28, 2016
Comment
Oct 27, 2016
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"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller.

"Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL

Oct 27, 2016