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“No, I am no longer with that organization.  I haven’t updated my resume,” the candidate said, referring to the document he had sent via email earlier in the day.

His resume was not accurate.  When this happens, which regrettably, is fairly often, the question then quickly becomes is the resume not accurate because he was too lazy and did not want to invest the time thinking no one would notice?  Or was it a deliberate attempt to cover-up his true employment status:  unemployed?

Harsh words?  Perhaps, but in a puny economy where leaders must be unerring, there is no room for this type of career management silliness.  This person’s failure to update his resume was not an oversight by hours, or even days.  He was forced out of his last job more than two months earlier.

So why am I raising this “duh, it should be obvious for a candidate not to do that” subject?   Because it happens a lot more often than most people realize: at least once or twice in every search.

[Tweet “Serious leaders shouldn’t act like entry-level employees who don’t know any better.”]
Aside from the obvious, that serious leaders should not act like entry-level employees who do not know any better, there is a greater consequence:  it diminishes an individual’s career brand.  For the life of me, I cannot come up with even one halfway decent explanation or logical reason why a candidate would want to shoot themselves in both feet with this sort of “oversight.”

[Tweet “Without trust, there can be no effective leadership.”]
Last week I posted a blog on career branding and, how, at the end of the day, we are really talking about reputation.   Once damaged, or lost, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to restore its luster and trust.  Without trust, there can be no effective leadership.

There are so many things that can go wrong for an executive in periods of rapid change and challenging economic times.  Clients, or the hiring authority, expect to receive the best candidates with stellar backgrounds.  No recruiter, internal or at a search firm, can afford to take a chance with a candidate who lacks clarity regarding the importance of one’s reputation.