The General Discussion section of the research paper to which Ariely refers begins with the sentence, “We suggested at the outset that people adopt counterfeit products because they are trying to improve their self-image; our studies show that counterfeits have the ironic consequence of harming self-image via inauthenticity, inducing a ‘counterfeit self.’”
Would it be a stretch to suggest that falsifying one’s résumé is like wearing fake designer sunglasses, inasmuch as it is likely to make one feel an uncomfortable sense of alienation from oneself? Perhaps not. Then the joint task of the career developer and the client is to get an accurate description of the client’s identity and to find ways of presenting it well, in résumés and other places. It would appear that one benefit of these services beyond helping with employment issues might relate to the client’s sense of authenticity.