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Employers Take Time to Verify Your Education History


– In December 2001, former Georgia Tech head coach George O’Leary accepted a position as the head coach of Notre Dame. However, before he was able to begin this new dream job, Notre Dame found out that the coach-to-be did not complete his Master’s degree from NYU as stated on his resume.

– In more recent news (April 2006), Marilee Jones, the Dean of Admissions at the prestigious MIT, resigned after confessing that she had lied about her academic credentials when she was first hired as an administrative assistant over 30 years ago.


How could this happen at such well-respected institutions?


The truth is that it happens all the time. And when it does, it is an embarrassment for all parties involved. Companies have become more in tune with digging deeper into an applicant’s background so that these complicated and embarrassing situations do not happen.


Here are 5 tips to protect yourself and prove your past:


Honesty is the best policy.

This one is obvious and simple. Don’t lie. Sometimes applicants may stretch the truth on dates or employment history to avoid questions about gaps. If you have gaps in your work history, make sure that you have a reasonable explanation should questions arise during the interview process.


Arm yourself with proof.

Keep degree verification letters from all colleges and universities attended on hand. Some companies no longer accept copies of diplomas since it is so easy to create fake diplomas on the computer.


Be proactive.

– Perform a full background check and credit history check on yourself. According to career development specialist Artie Cressman, the purpose is to “make sure nothing in the candidate’s background will set off red flags for the hiring authority." Sites such as freecreditreport.com can help you keep track of your credit history. And your driving and civil information can be obtained by your local police department, usually for a small fee.

– Collect letters of recommendation from previous employers, internships, or volunteer work.


Would your mother approve?

Be weary of creating public online profiles. A new trend on the employment scene is employers checking out popular sites such as MySpace and Facebook to get more information on prospective employees. Remember that these sites are out there and can be viewed by anyone—even prospective employers. A good rule of thumb is to never put anything out there that you wouldn’t mind sharing with your mom.


Google yourself. This is a quick way that employers can get more information on candidates. See what comes up when you type your name into the search engine.


Cressman, Artie. Verifying Your College Degree and Your Past. NetTemps Corssroads.