I recently graduated from college, and my formerly dearest friend has stolen one of my extracurricular activities for her résumé. I just happened to see her résumé lying around and noticed that the community service I performed--reading to blind children--is on it. But she never read to the blind! She's not very interested in charity, to put it mildly. I think she saw it on my résumé and realized how excellent it sounded. Should I let prospective employers know? How would I even know whom to tell?
J. G., Ann Arbor, Mich.
Dear J. G.,
I turned your question over to my sister-in-law, Ellen Gordon Reeves, who is an actual expert on these things, having authored Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview?, a guide to job-finding for recent graduates. She notes that if you were actually sniffing around for your friend's résumé, you don't have a moral argument to make. If not, she suggests the following: "Tell her you didn't know she'd started volunteering and that you're so glad your activities inspired her. If she fesses up, remind her that employers will not forgive lies on a résumé, especially when the falsehoods can be checked."