If you haven’t heard the news already, Yahoo! Inc. CEO Scott Thompson stepped down after not correcting errors in his credentials. His college degree is the facet of his background being called into question, as even a simple internet search reveals discrepancy with his educational history.
Thompson claims he has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Stonehill College, but in fact, he earned a bachelor’s in accounting. His information listed in Ebay, where he previously was an executive, includes the accounting degree, and early Yahoo press releases also touch on this aspect of his background. Yahoo’s website, however, still lists the computer science degree.
Since Thompson stepped down, Yahoo’s board is going through significant changes. Ross Levinsohn, head of global media, will assume Thompson’s former position.
Although those entering and climbing their way through the corporate world, or at least preparing for employment, need to be extremely prepared for background checks, this recent incident indicates that fudging a resume can lead to the downfall of just about anyone. While Thompson does have an impressive resume of experience behind him, this incident could end up belying all of that hard work, branding him as a not-fully-honest individual.
This incident also indicates that professionals and workers of all levels must not cave into tweaking a resume ever-so-slightly to get in front of the competition. Although a few stretched statements may get you past the rejection group, what happens when a background check is conducted? Or even, later down the line, in an employee background check, which is routine at many companies and even done in the event of a promotion?