I am a student at a US university in a Masters program. We have a industry project I am working on with another student, and I was also involved in this student in other projects.

This student shows minimum effort (if not none) for all projects, but boosts it on their resume & LinkedIn profile as if they have done all the work. What's worse is that they claim they are a "project coordinator" on their LinkedIn profile even though this position means nothing & I am handling the project management responsibilities.

This individual also has several other lies on his LinkedIn profile including courses he has taken. When asked about these lies, this person just laughs it off.

I have very less past industry experience in my current field of study, i.e mostly academic. In the internship application process this year (for this summer), I have found that this person was considered seriously due to his past work experience even if the current position requires qualifications in which he lies. I do not understand how this person had been able to perform his job, and had secured a full-time position at this company.

When I present my qualifications, it seems like I am inadequate.

Is there any way to formally address the lies?

  • I removed the second question because (a) asking multiple unrelated questions in the same post is frowned upon here and (b) it's off-topic - we can't really tell you how to present yourself in a better light; that's hopelessly too broad and will heavily depend on the exact experience you're looking to present in a better light. Commented Sep 6, 2018 at 23:35
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    Welcome to the real world. This might be your first encounter of such things but it won't be the last. Also don't be surprised if he gets the good job instead of you either. It's how things are.
    – solarflare
    Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 0:30
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    "Is there any way to formally address the lies?" To whom?
    – Mawg
    Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 6:37
  • More than likely you don't need to do anything. Speaking as someone who does 1st and 3rd tier interviews, a lot of the time we catch people like that. When we don't they eventually get fired. Very long term he's cheating himself, the universe will eventually catch up to him but don't expect him to post that on his linkedin page. Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 13:04

5 Answers 5


Let it go and focus on yourself

Unless someone specifically comes to you, or you believe this person's lies are going to put someone's life at risk (e.g. if they are working in the medical field), you should not try to go to their current employer to get them fired, or whatever other retribution you are hoping for. At best, you succeed, and have basically nothing to show for it except a person that you go to school with who will hate you - I seriously doubt it will end with you getting the job instead, or any other positive outcome for you.

If someone does come to you as a reference for the person, you should answer any questions they have truthfully. Explain what the person did on the project; you shouldn't need to call attention to the fact that they didn't do very much, or otherwise badmouth them. Again, it generally doesn't reflect well on you to be overly negative about someone, and doesn't help you even if the person asking you uses your reference as a basis not to hire.

The thing about people like this is that they'll get what's coming to them. Managers tend to be good or get good at cutting through the bull**** of applicants during the interview process, and even if they don't the person will be working with a pendulum over their head that may come down if their lies are ever found out. Ultimately, if despite not being a good student, they are able to do their job effectively, it still just isn't your problem.


Is there any way to formally address the lies?

Sure if you want to try and maliciously sabotage someone else and make a bitter enemy for life you can document the lies, write them all up with bullet points and send them to all and sundry.

Or you could focus on your own career and let it take it's course. Incompetent people who lie usually get caught out eventually through the normal processes. Businesses are aware that some people lie and have strategies to deal with them.

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    Not only that, but if they find out you sabotaged them (or have good reason to suspect it), there's really nothing to prevent them doing the same to you in return. And ultimately it's your word against theirs. Such a scenario is not going to end well for either of you. Better to focus on selling yourself and let the companies doing the hiring worry about whether candidates are lying or not.
    – delinear
    Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 9:56
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    I actually make sure someone knows if they're being bad mouthed. I'll take it seriously and do a bit of investigating, but I'll also let them know exactly why and who. It's only fair.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Sep 8, 2018 at 15:00
  • Even if the 'bad mouthing' is strictly revealing lies?
    – Bwmat
    Commented Sep 13, 2018 at 6:08
  • I know I'd try to do it anonymously if I ever felt the need.
    – Bwmat
    Commented Sep 13, 2018 at 6:08

Unfortunately, people lying on resumes isn't exactly a new thing. The interview and background check process is supposed to help uncover the lies, but it isn't a perfect process. You can try to take this person down, but, oddly enough, people don't like working with someone who's a "rat" even if it was the other person who lied in the first place.

There isn't much you can do except let nature take its course. You may think you're losing out when a big name company takes someone who lies on their resume, but you're probably dodging a bullet, because the company is likely to hire other big talkers and you'd be one of the few people doing any work there.


Is there any way to formally address the lies?

Unless you are the one doing the interviewing, there is nothing for you to address here.

Just go about your business. Be the best you can be at whatever you do.

Let the liar continue to lie. A good interviewer and/or background check will learn the truth. In my experience, lies eventually catch up to you.

Maybe some day the liar will apply to your company and you'll be asked for your opinion of him. At that point you can mention that you don't hire known liars.


It's unfortunately common for someone to have a really great resume in software/IT/development fields but don't really know anything at all. I have seen people claim all sorts of wild things in their resume, then during interview, they fail badly. I wouldn't worry too much about this person or what he does with his resume as it will no doubt become apparent either through the interview or if he gets hired into a high position, his lack of knowledge will eventually unfold. Instead concentrate on yourself, what you did, and always be honest about anything.

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