Red-handed, red-faced

2007

Just in case you needed reminding that having some harmless "little inaccuracies" on your résumé can backfire spectacularly, remember the name "Patrick Imbardelli".

Patrick Imbardelli walked out on his £300,000 a year job as head of the [InterContinental Hotels] group's Asia Pacific chain only days before he was poised to join the main board of the FTSE 100 company.

As The Independent – and just about every other news outlet on the planet – reports, Mr Imbardelli, whose reputation garnished over 25 years in the hotel industry is now in tatters, had falsely claimed to have three qualifications - a bachelor of business degree from the University of Victoria in Australia, and a BSc and a masters of business administration, both from Cornell University in the United States.

But just as it was announced that he was about to join the main board, a whistleblower alerted InterContinental to look into his background.

One expert in the headhunting business described a fake qualification as "like a ticking timebomb waiting to go off - it can take years to go off but when it does everything is destroyed".

As Derek Torres noted here only this week, the same fate could presumably befall a huge number of others out there – according to a poll by Monster.com, some two-thirds of the British workforce, for example, has lied about job qualifications on their CVs. Time , perhaps, to double-check what you said about that Harvard MBA . . .