Lying on your resume to have a better shot at nailing a competitive job isn’t a new tactic — in fact, a December 2022 survey by StandOutCV found that over 55% of Americans have lied on their resumes at least once and a January 2023 survey by ResumeBuilder found the most common lie to be about education history.
But a TikToker is going viral after pointing out a new way that candidates can stretch the truth while job hunting.
In a video that’s been viewed over 1.4 million times, Alex Pearlman tells a story about when former electronics chain Circuit City went out of business, around the time of the 2008 recession. During this time, many of his friends were either out of work or had massive gaps in their resumes. So instead of searching for entry-level positions, his friends had a better idea.
@pearlmania500 Honestly circuit city going under was a net positive for all my friends income. #circuitcity #grift #recession #elonmusk #twitter #pearlmania500 #itsgettingworse #resume #2009 ♬ original sound – Alex Pearlman
“So what did they do? They all got together and they started covering each other’s résumés that each of them had worked at different positions at Circuit City,” he explained. “Did they ever actually work there? No. Had they been a busboy for the last five years? Yes. But now on paper they were the floor manager at Circuit City. Boom … Nobody could prove otherwise, there was no HR department to call, and there was nothing you could verify this information against,” he said.
Pearlman then theorized that other companies that have either dissolved — or dissolved their HR department — could be used just like his friends used Circuit City.
“It’s time for all of us to be former employees at Twitter,” Pearlman told viewers. “Don’t like your job? You haven’t been doing that job. You worked for Twitter for four years, you were the director of ad sales. They’re never going to actually respond to any request for verification because even Twitter doesn’t know who works there anymore.”
Pearlman used the example of scorned Twitter employee Haraldur “Halli” Þorleifsson who accused Musk of firing him on account of his disability. Pearlman explained that Þorleifsson had to publicly Tweet at Musk in order to confirm or deny that he was fired since there was no way to contact an HR department.
Some comments were loving Pearlman’s idea.
“I mean, with the massive gutting of ALL levels at Twitter, nobody would think twice as to why there’s a huge influx of ex-Twitter jobseekers out there,” one user pointed out.
“As someone who actually worked at circuit city to the end, my resume definitely has a higher position than what I really held,” another admitted.
But others were wary.
“Don’t do this if you apply for a major company bc they may conduct a background check and look at your taxes,” another warned.
“Just make sure your age range matches up. Be careful for closed businesses with open parent companies,” another agreed.
Neither Musk nor Twitter has commented on Pearlman’s video.