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I just joined an outsourcing company this month. On the first day of work my manager asked me to update my resume to follow the company format. The only weird thing is that in the resume they gave me, my experience was boosted to 4 years, despite having only almost 2 years of experience.

When I asked my manager about this, he said it was to meet the client's expectations and that he would give me some time to study the fake projects for the interview. 

At first, when I applied for the company, I applied for the position of Python Developer, and they asked me if I wanted to work with other languages in the future. I stated that I am eager to learn, but on my first day, I was forced to fake my experience and study an entirely new tech stack in order to interview the company's client for the project.

It just feels odd to me, and I am not really willing to fake my resume and experiences. I am thinking of leaving due to another job offer at a product company.

I was wondering if this is the norm in the industry, because I heard from some of my friends that their companies also participate in the same practice. Is this a common practice in the outsourcing industry?

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Kilisi
    Dec 7, 2022 at 3:05
  • can you add a country tag? or at least the continent? Dec 8, 2022 at 12:05

5 Answers 5

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If you are not OK with lying about your experience, congratulations. Welcome to the land of integrity - population not as much as it should be.

You have two options:

One is: keep quiet for as long as possible while looking for other jobs. However this will bite you if you haven't found another job by the time you go for the interview with the client. The client will likely ask about the fake projects, and then you have the choice of lying to them (which you don't want to do) and telling the client the truth (which will seriously damage your employer - while probably getting you fired). By the way, even if they don't ask you about the fake projects you are still culpable for the lies on your resume, since you know about them.

The other is: Tell your employer up front what you will and will not do for them. Specifically tell them you are not going to lie; that if you are asked in an interview about your experience you will tell them the truth, and that you did not take part in the fake projects. This gives your employer the chance to not submit a fake resume, to keep their integrity, and not be embarrassed when you reveal their lies.

If you take the second case of course there are two possible outcomes:

  1. They send out only your correct resume and don't expect you to lie.
  2. They fire you, possibly before you have had a chance to find another job.

Option 1 is perfectly possible - it depends on how dedicated liars the company are. But option 2 is also possible.

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    Option 3: the company sends a fake resume and hopes it flies under the radar. Then possibly blames the original poster when it doesn't.
    – svavil
    Dec 6, 2022 at 11:17
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    +100 for the opening sentence. Such a rare commodity today.
    – FreeMan
    Dec 6, 2022 at 13:00
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    I've had a fake CV submitted for me by a contracting company to a customer, but they didn't tell me. As soon as I realized my response was an angry and confused assertion that it must be a clerical error and I don't know that it was actually a problem. Talking with the customer he immediately wanted to use me so we were set. He might not have even bothered taking it up with the firm. Dec 6, 2022 at 17:13
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    In many parts of the world, option 2 is followed by a lawsuit for wrongful dismissal
    – njzk2
    Dec 6, 2022 at 22:21
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    No civilized country would take "refusing to lie about their resume" as a valid ground for dismissal. Of course this is probably the US, so that doesn't apply. Dec 7, 2022 at 22:17
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The only weird thing is that in the resume, my experience was boosted to 4 years, despite having only almost 2 years of experience.

I stated that I am eager to learn, but on my first day, I was forced to fake my experience and study an entirely new tech stack in order to interview the company's client for the project.

But I was wondering if this is the norm in the industry because I heard from some of my friends that their companies also participate in the same practice

Some companies do this. Sometimes they get caught. When they do they face cancellation of the current contract, being blocked from future contracts with that customer, and can even face criminal charges.

The company is either trying to put you into a position you don't qualify for because you have never used that stack; or they are trying to boost the rate they can charge by increasing your years of experience; or both.

Even if they don't get caught you will have some uncomfortable moments if the customer suspects the you overstated your experience.

Once you interview with the customer you are part of the scheme.

I would keep looking, applying, and interviewing at other companies.

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    "I would keep looking, applying, and interviewing at other companies." Seconded. I have worked in places like this and never enjoyed it long-term. Dec 5, 2022 at 16:57
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    Seconded again... "I have worked in places like this and never enjoyed it long-term" Seconded this as well... Dec 6, 2022 at 4:46
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    Nailed it. Manager / company will absolutely pin this deception (and any fallout) on OP if they get caught, rather than admit they were at fault. Always send concerns to your manager in writing and print yourself a copy to keep at home so it doesn't vanish with your work email access.
    – brichins
    Dec 6, 2022 at 19:09
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To me, this is a massive red flag.

If the company is willing to forge a document (which is what this is, it's consciously changing information, AKA lying in a written form) for its clients, ask yourself this:

What will they do to employees?

They've proven that they are willing to barefaced lie to the people that pay them money. What makes you think they wouldn't lie to you?

You cannot work for a company you do not trust.

I'd also consider letting their clients and some authorities know.

Of course, you may be in a position where you need this job and there's no alternative, in which case I'd be making sure I got everything and anything in writing and would be retaining hard copies of everything.

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    I would naively assume that an outsourcing company can charge more for a person with 4 years experience than for one with two years experience, or may get a contract through lying, and another company telling the truth doesn't get it. This is pure and simple criminal fraud. In some countries it is also document forgery, which adds to the criminal fraud.
    – gnasher729
    Dec 6, 2022 at 0:16
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    In NZ, the Commerce Commission would take an exceedingly dim view of a company fraudulently changing their contractors experience to command a higher rate. Imagine if a Car company advertised a car as having 5 seats but only came with 3. I would imagine that wherever the OP is situated, they would have a similar entity that would be interested in having a look. Afterall, if they are lying about the Years of Experience, perhaps they are lying about other things, like Tax returns... Dec 6, 2022 at 0:28
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It just feels odd to me, and I am not really willing to fake my resume and experiences.

You are right to feel uncomfortable with your company forcing you to lie like that.

But I was wondering if this is the norm in the industry because I heard from some of my friends that their companies also participate in the same practice. Is my decision immature because I have just worked for the company for about 3 weeks and it is my first time working in an outsourcing environment?

It's not the norm for companies I have contracted, but it may be in your part of the world.

But you get to decide if this is the kind of deception game you want to play or not.

It's not something I would ever allow to happen to me. My professional reputation is far too important to me.

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    haven't seen it much from larger outsourcing companies. Smaller ones though often "embellish" resumes, and recruiters sometimes go way beyond that. I don't put up with it either.
    – jwenting
    Dec 7, 2022 at 3:49
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Many companies have an ethics policy or HR department that would deal with ethics issues. Check to see if your company has one. If a company cannot deal with ethics complaints it isn't a company worth working for, because they are creating risks for themselves (and it's not ethical).

Many times it's an individual or manager and not the company policy that is the problem. If the company has a policy to intentionally break ethics, then find a new job.

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