Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Lessons Learnt from Yahoo

After four months in the business, Yahoo’s CEO Scott Thompson was uncovered as having falsely declared a computer science degree on his resume. Week after the discover Yahoo’s board of directors made the decision to fire Thompson and even look to drive out some of it’s own. The future of the business is uncertain and it’s leaving investor’s wondering how it will effect their potential earnings.

The problems from the allegation grew due to the opinion of top-level executives on his overall strategy. When the discovery was made, Thompson proceeded to blame a head hunting firm for altering his resume – which was probably his ultimate demise as they were able to prove otherwise.

To think that a global giant like Yahoo can miss something like this highlights the need for all businesses big and small to sharpen up their checking processes when hiring new talent and before opening the doors of their business to outsiders.

As a recruitment provider we see hundreds of resumes everyday and thousands of potential candidates each year which gives a bit of a 3rd sense; but that doesn’t mean we drop our processes, in fact, it makes us more aware.

Saying you have a degree that you don’t is not as bad as conveniently forgetting to tell someone you’ve been convicted as an Axe Murder, but it still shows a lot about the person’s character and highlights how far one sentence of lies can go.

Avoiding “Resumegate” in your business:
  • Have a compulsory application form with a clear disclaimer about true and honest information
  • Ask interviewees to bring supporting material with them– certificates, degree, passports etc
  • Ask questions. If you feel that something’s not quite right – make sure you get to the bottom of it
  • If it’s practical, test them (particularly if they need to do something like computer programming)
  • Check LinkedIn to make sure their profile matches their Resume
  • Always carry out at least 2 reference checks with questions prepared in advance. One reference is the most recent employer (it’s a good idea to do a quick LinkedIn look up on the reference check too).


  1. Wow - such a great educational piece . So instructive and informative . Thanks so much.

  2. An inspiring piece to read. I would like to know the best way to sell 'life experience' when one doesn't have the written qualifications, though knows they could do the job at hand.