Last updated: November 27, 2023
In today’s world, a growing number of employers are requiring job candidates to submit background checks. Many assume that if your work history checks out, you must be educated in the field and, therefore, don’t see a need to perform an education verification check. Others choose to verify the education section on an applicant’s resume as well as other information they deem pertinent.
Verifying every aspect of information given on an application proves the potential employee is who they say they are. That’s extremely important because it establishes the initial bond of trust that employers can, then, build on.
Reasons for an education verification check
We already listed the primary reason that employers perform background checks. They want to make sure that the potential new hire hasn’t misrepresented themselves. Typically, an employer wants to confirm the school attended, whether or not specific degrees were earned, and the dates the student attended classes.
There are other reasons that employers verify education. Anyone applying for a position in the medical field has specific knowledge that they must know in order to perform their job.—think nurses, for example. If someone didn’t complete nursing school, they have no business applying for a position as a nurse!
Basically, anyone applying for a job working in the public sector can expect a background check that includes an education verification check. They look to make sure licenses and certifications are in good standing as well.
Some employers look for confirmation that someone didn’t just purchase a degree from one of many online diploma mills. These phony institutions hand out degrees and grade transcripts for a price. The person merely hands over the required amount of cash and voilà! Graduated!
When is employment verification completed?
Usually, an employer performs an employment verification check post job offer, but before actually filling the position. It’s often seen as part of the “last step” in the pre-hire process. Any other background checks, a drug screen, or proof of eligibility to work in the U.S. would be completed at this time as well.
However, there’s no law that says an employer can’t check someone’s educational background at any time. Poor performance could prompt the decision, even years down the road. If someone is struggling with their work, their employer may suggest they be put on some type of performance improvement plan. In order to cover all their bases, they often complete an education verification check at that time if it hadn’t been done previously.
How is the process completed?
Oftentimes, the recruiter or person handling the hiring process will contact the school or university themselves. However, the process can also be handed over to a background check company. After they have obtained authorization from the job candidate, contact can be made to request the information.
Some schools, however, use a clearinghouse. The company requesting education verification reaches out to the clearinghouse. After paying the required fee, the information is released.
Why do some people lie on their resumes?
According to a survey conducted by The Ladders, a professional job search company, there are several factors that might cause someone to lie or bend the truth on their resume.
Let’s take a look at what they discovered.
You might think that older applicants would be tempted to lie fearing if they didn’t cushion their skillset or education level, they wouldn’t even make the interview due to their age. However, that wasn’t the case. In fact, those 45 and older were proven to be the least likely to lie when applying for a job.
The Ladders survey results showed that millennials admitted to outright lying to try and get the job they are going after. Generation Z survey participants rated the highest tendency to be dishonest. However, they admitted to “bending the truth” rather than outright lying. Is there really a difference though?
The graph documenting the answers given on the survey proved that an overwhelming majority of people say they wouldn’t lie about education on their resumes. However, of those that do, people who didn’t go past high school were the most likely to lie about their education. In fact, high school dropouts were more honest about their education history.
College graduates who had obtained a bachelor’s degree were the next most likely group to fudge the truth when applying for a position. Those who have advanced degrees were the least likely to lie on their resume.
Work and technical experience
These two categories provide valuable information for potential employers. They can often tell at a glance if what they see is worthy of further consideration.
People realize that and it creates a temptation to stretch the truth in hopes of being chosen for the position.
What motivates people to lie?
It’s likely that upwards of 30% of people lie or bend the truth when applying for a position. That doesn’t make it a good idea though. Lying about your education or experience in order to land a job is a risky business. Moreover, if the lies are discovered, you probably aren’t getting the position.
Some motivations to lie include:
- 13% said to secure the job
- 5.6% said they’d lie to increase their salary
- 80% of those who took the survey said they’d lied before and gotten away with it
A better way
Rather than lying on your resume or job application, try strengthening your skill set instead. If you really want to impress, learn an entirely new skill set as well! Practice writing cover letters that enhance your value as an employee. Consider why it is that you want to work for a specific company and tailor your resume to fit their need.
Honesty truly is the best policy. Nobody wants to hire a liar. There’s too much risk involved. If you are willing to lie to get your foot in the door of the company, what might you do when you decide you want to advance?
The majority of employers aren’t going to take the chance on finding out that answer.