Personal Finance: Fudging the facts

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Michelle Singletary
Thursday, December 16, 2010; 10:51 AM

With more job candidates than available positions, one Web site is telling little white employment lies on behalf of prospective hires.

As Baltimore Sun writer Eileen Ambrose reports, Careerexcuse.com offers to act as a job seeker's past employer in order to provide a positive job reference.

"It's certainly a sign of desperation," an analyst told Ambrose. "It's a mistake to think that you can lie about something to get in the door and prove yourself."

It never ceases to amaze me what people will do to make money. I know unemployment is high and good jobs are hard to find, but surely people know the service this Web site is offering is a bad, bad way to land a job. Besides, employers are increasingly going to great lengths to check out job candidates, since many have been burned by false information on resumes.

Alas, I know people lie to get jobs. So here's this week's Color of Money Question: What lie have you or someone you know told to land a job? Send your responses to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Put "Fudging the Facts" in the subject line. And given the nature of this question, this is one of the few times I'll allow you to remain anonymous. However, please still include your city and state.

The Tale of Two Christmases

Doesn't matter this year if you've been a good little girl or boy (or man or woman, for that matter). The lingering effects of the recession have created a larger gulf between the holiday haves and have nots.

Post reporter Ylan Q. Mui writes about this division between American households during the Christmas season.

Mui writes: "Though economists declared the recession officially over last summer, the pace of recovery has been uneven across income levels. The rebound in the stock market and record low mortgage interest rates have mostly benefited affluent households, buoying their confidence in the economy along with their ability - and their desire - to spend. Meanwhile, progress largely has bypassed poorer families who remain hamstrung by anemic wage growth and a higher unemployment rate."

Talk To Me

Today is my last live video and text chats until the New Year.

What a year 2010 has been. Major financial and credit card reform, the recession was declared over (as of last spring) and unemployment still at record highs. We have a lot to chat about. So join me live today. The video chat starts at 11:45 a.m. At noon ET I'll be online for the text chat.


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