I felt that familiar feeling of writer’s block this morning — not only for the many articles I have to write, but also for my morning blog.
While perusing my TweetDeck for inspiration, an interesting link caught my eye: “Smart or sleazy to fake job references?” Immediately, I thought “sleazy” but I was intrigued to click through to see what it was about.
I expected to see an article about the consequences of lying about your job references in an interview. What I saw instead was an article about not one, but two companies that will act as your past employer and provide false job references for job seekers.
CareerExcuse.com is a Web site that says it will fill in the gaps on your resume by acting as your past employer. It will provide job references, complete with working phone numbers and people on the other end of each line ready to answer questions posed by prospective employers.
“At least I know I was able to help someone get a paycheck and provide for himself and his family,” says William Schmidt, the creator of the site, told ABCNews.com.
The other Web site, Alibi HQ, which also offers fake landlord references and fake doctor’s notes, says the interest for fake employment has skyrocketed over the last year.
“Here’s how Alibi HQ says its service works: It sets up a working phone number for a “fictitious” company that it passes on to a job applicant. When a prospective employer calls the number, one of more than 20 Alibi HQ staffers answers the phone and “confirms” that the applicant used to work there.”
I mean…for real?
My reaction to this is that it’s outrageous! What happens when one of these companies provides a reference for a convicted felon who goes on to commit another crime in his or her future workplace? Or when they give a glowing review for someone who has been fired several times for unethical work behavior and does the same thing in the new position?
Each of these services argues that it draws a line on who it will and won’t provide its services: Alibi HQ staffers never claim to represent companies in existence today, and the company does not provide employment references for mortgage refinance applications or employees applying to work at financial sector companies — including bailed-out banks — government organizations or contractors who do government work.
CareerExcuses doesn’t provide references to government applicants and also declines to provide references to those applying for jobs in the medical profession.
Oh, well I’m glad you’ve set some boundaries. C’mon — is this supposed to make it OK?
As we’ve stated several times, we here at The Work Buzz are true believers in good old fashioned honesty. Lying about your criminal history, past employers, employment gaps, reasons for leaving your past companies or even about your education, will almost always come back to bite you.
Although it’s not easy to be honest about some of these situations, there is always a way to turn a negative into a positive.
In my humble opinion, these services are not only unethical, but they seem to be a unlawful, too. What do you think?
Check out these articles and blogs about answering tough interview questions: