Most people accentuate the positive and downplay the negative on their curricula vitae or résumés. Clever employers are aware of that and take it into account. Really clever employers add points for initiative when it is done well.
However, it is clearly overkill when a job applicant claims to have flown helicopters with Prince Andrew, and played rugby for Wales, and earned a PhD, and served with the Royal Marines, and raced a bobsled at the Winter Olympics, and spied for two major British intelligence agencies, and played guitar on the folk circuit, and helped design the Polaris missile system ...and much else besides.
Apart from anything else, when could he have had the time? Yet despite telling a large number of huge and obviously contradictory lies, Stephen Wilce held down a very important job for five years
...with the New Zealand government!
...after passing their highest level of security “vetting”!!
...as their Director of Defence Technology!!!
Sorry about the multiple exclamation marks, but it really does beggar belief. A modern government can have no excuse. Of course, those of us with small businesses do not usually have access to the security files and investigative apparatus that is available to the state. Nevertheless the rule for all of us should be that whatever can be checked about a job applicant should be checked.
The most important facts of an employee’s working life are usually the hardest to research. However, it is still worthwhile to follow up on any minor details that are easy to verify – on the sound principle that someone who lies about little things will also lie about big things.
In Wilce’s case, it is astonishing that no one in rugby-mad New Zealand thought to check the on-line list of everyone who has ever won a Welsh cap. That would have been enough to raise questions.
In previous posts we have condemned over-regulation of employees surfing the internet or gossiping in working hours. This vindicates our position. A bit of on-line surfing by a nosy co-worker would soon discover what high level security “vetting” by a New Zealand’s Secret Intelligence Service did not.