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I have been working as a shadow software developer in a company for a little over a year now. Not too long ago, my company told me to add experience to my LinkedIn profile as they are about to send my resume to their client. They told me to do so because they are lying about my experience in the resume that they sent and that I should update my LinkedIn in case the client does a background check. Ever since then, this has been bothering me, and I am considering contacting people from our client company and telling them about it. Is that a good idea?

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Ever since then, this has been bothering me,

Good. That means your conscience is still reasonably intact.

I changed back my LinkedIn experience to normal a few days after their request

Also good. You are back to being honest again.

I am considering contacting people from our client company and telling them about it. Is that a good idea?

No. At this point this would just going to create a lot of upheaval with no good outcome and since your own nose isn't entirely clean either you are likely to be caught in the crossfire.

What you SHOULD be doing:

  1. Next time someone asks you to lie or fudge the facts, just say no. "Sorry, I'm not comfortable with having factually wrong data on my LinkedIn Profile." If that gets you in trouble, so be it. It's a lost cause anyway.
  2. Start looking for a new job. A company that lies to their clients will also lie to you. Chances are they are going to screw you over in the future or may have already done so. You simply can't trust them and that's not sustainable.
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    That is an important principle. If your employer is cheating a customer then they won’t have any problems cheating on you, including throwing you under the bus if it helps the company. The extreme case: Never, ever lie in court for your company.
    – gnasher729
    Apr 20, 2023 at 20:37
  • The companies that treat customers and suppliers the worst ALWAYS treat their employees the same way. It's almost like dishonesty becomes a core business skill.
    – Tiger Guy
    Apr 21, 2023 at 6:35
  • +1 for "Sorry, I'm not comfortable with having factually wrong data on my LinkedIn Profile." If they react badly, one option is to offer to simply remove the profile. That can buy you some time while you look for a job with a more honest employer.
    – mhwombat
    Apr 21, 2023 at 12:54
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    FYI, your company does NOT own your LinkedIn profile. Apr 21, 2023 at 12:58
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IMO you should have rejected the request to lie on behalf of your employer and to list experience on LinkedIn that you don't have right away.

Now that the damage is done revealing the lies will cause not only the company trouble but also damage your reputation since you took part in this deception.

It would be morally correct to come clean, but what are you trying to achieve exactly? Your current employer won't be happy about you informing the clients about the fact that they've been lied to by them. And the client will also know that you were aware of it and had your share in this scheme..

Lies will most certainly come back and bite you one day, so take this as a lesson learned and stay on the moral upside in the future - even when asked by a superior or on behalf of a company that writes your paychecks.

About coming clean: Lies are lies but the severity of impact may vary. It makes a difference if the company adds 'experienced nuclear physicist and engineer' to the resume and sends you out to service a nuclear combustor or if they add 'Experience in responsive web-design via flex-box'. The latter can be learned along the way, the former can't and could lead to a national disaster.

I'm not fond of either lie and severity of impact shouldn't serve as justification, but one is more severe than the other. Also consider legal aspects such as liabilty & complicity.

Edit after clarification in comments: Since you said they added a year to your XP and since you have already rolled back your LinkedIn profile to reflect your factual experience I wouldn't bother to tell the client and cause a commotion with your current employer. Just don't participate in anything like that in the future..

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    I changed back my LinkedIn experience to normal a few days after their request. I've been thinking about this for some time, and the reason I want to do this is because it is morally correct, as you said so. Apr 20, 2023 at 16:07
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    My recommendation obviously is not changing your personal LinkedIn profile for your company, and to make your profile private, unless you want it discoverable for personal reasons. If your profile is private, they can’t direct a client, to view your profile.
    – Donald
    Apr 20, 2023 at 19:59
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Generally an employee must act in the best interests of their employer. If what you were being asked to do was untrue (as it seems) you could just say no. If you did add the false experience then telling the potential client is legally problematic for your employer and yourself. Of course each case turns on its own facts. I am an Australian admitted practising solicitor - this is not legal advice but general commentary.

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