I have been following the story about Scott Thompson, Yahoo's CEO. He claimed on his resume to have a degree in accounting and computer science from Stonehill College. (Where the heck is Stonehill College???) However, as it turns out, he has a degree in accounting only. And an influential and activist shareholder group discovered the "inadvertent error."
What is Mr. Thompson's response? He regrets how the issue has negatively affected the company and its employees. Seriously? Is that all you have Mr. Thompson?
Shouldn't the apology read something like this: I apologize that I falsified my resume. It was wrong of me. I don't know why I did it. I was stupid. You can count on me to tell the truth from this day forward, even if it doesn't reflect well on me.
Of course, I suggested this apology in jest. What CEO ... or any other job applicant ... would fall on his/her sword with a statement of personal responsibility? And of course, how many employers, or co-workers, would accept the apology and trust the applicant to tell the truth in the future?
The best indication of future behavior is past behavior. And little things -- like resume fraud -- do matter. It shows you who that person really is and how (s)he will likely behave in a similar situation.
My advice for Mr. Thompson? Quit. Move on. Get another job ... perhaps working for yourself. Spend some time living honestly and showing people that you have turned the corner in your life. Give them a reason to believe you changed and now can be trusted.