CareerExcuse.com is a company that provides fake work histories and professional references for job hunters. If you are unemployed and haven’t yet resorted to lying on your resume, maybe you’re not trying hard enough.
With plans starting at just $20/month, CareerExcuse.com will help you lie your way into a new job.
It is a fascinating business model, proving Machiavelli is alive and well!
I can’t help but applaud CareerExcuse for finding a niche in the market and unapologetically filling it.
Is it Legal?
But isn’t that illegal, you might ask? Since a resume is not a legal document, lying on it is not technically against the law.
Is it unethical? How you answer will probably coincide with how you answer the age-old “is it wrong to steal bread to feed your family?” question.
With nationwide unemployment at 9.5%, I’m sure CareerExcuse has no shortage of customers. According to their website, “over the past decade [they’ve] helped literally tens of thousands of people land jobs.” Also according to their website, they were founded in 2009.
As stated on their website:
You choose your career history.
You pick your start and end date.
You choose your salary.
We provide a real company just for you.
We provide a real address for that company.
We provide a real website for that company.
We provide a real “800” phone number.
We will have our operators standing by.
We will email you every time someone calls.
- We guarantee your new references will land interviews.
- We guarantee references you are happy with.
I’m not sure if I fully understand what they mean by “real company.” Elsewhere in their literature, they state they have several established “virtual companies.” Virtual, as in the opposite of real.
Still, imagine how good you could make your resume look if you could just make it up!
What Happens If I Get Caught?
Most often, the lie is caught before you get hired, so the punishment is the company simply tossing your resume into the reject pile. Although that’s where you might have ended up without lying anyway, so you’re no worse off, right?
But if they find out after they hire you, you’re likely to get fired for misrepresenting yourself, and CareerExcuse.com will not be held liable for this.
But after you get hired, it’s unlikely the company is continuing to do background checks on you and over time, your lie will probably be forgotten.
(Although there have some high-profile examples where that hasn’t happened.)
However, if you do get caught, now you’re stuck in a vicious cycle of lies that will make it even harder to find a new job.
Some states, including Washington, are taking action against “diploma-mills” — websites that sell fake college degrees — and trying to make it an actual crime to lie about education and employment history on your resume.
But Everybody Does It!
In a 2008 CareerBuilder.com survey, 8% of job-hunters admitted fudging the facts on their resume. Compare that to 49% of employers who said they’d discovered candidates stretching the truth.
CareerExcuse.com estimates resume-lying is even more prevalent, with a full 80% of resumes containing misleading information. I would argue there’s a big gap between rounding up your GPA (misleading) and straight-up making up companies you supposedly worked for (lying).
As an employer, how can you tell if a job candidate is using CareerExcuse.com?
Be diligent about your research. In the age of Google and social media, it would be interesting to see how far they’ve gone to preserve the validity of their virtual companies.
Are the addresses given legitimate?
Would Google Street View show the fake company’s storefront?
Do you have to tell all your Facebook friends about the excellent job you did at ABC Corporation? Have they gone to the effort to create shell corporations or private domain registration for the websites for each fake company?
CareerExcuse.com is owned by William Schmidt. According to DomainTools.com, he also owns 159 other domains. If I was researching a job candidate and his “previous employer’s” website was owned by William Schmidt, that might be a red flag.
Another option to help employers tell which candidates are being truthful or not is to use a third-party service like HireRight.
Need More Help Lying?
CareerExcuse.com can also help with rental applications by providing fake landlord references for just $65. And for only $35, they will pretend to be a funeral home for when you need to fake a relative’s death to get some time off.
Clearly a classy operation all the way, but apparently there are customers out there for this kind of service. Necessity breeds invention, right?
What to Do Instead
If you’re looking to earn extra cash, check out my monster list of side hustle ideas. There’s sure to be something that will work for you!