By Kristen Wakulchuk


What do the former CEOs of Yahoo and Bausch & Lomb, dean of admissions at MIT, top spokesperson for Wal-Mart, and head football coach at Notre Dame have in common? 

All of them landed prestigious jobs with global reach. All ascended to the top rungs on their chosen career ladders and represented their organizations at the highest, most impressive levels. 

And all of them lied to get those jobs. 

They weren’t alone, by a long shot. Research has shown that more than a third of Americans have admitted to lying on their resumes – embellishing or all-out falsifying data related to their education and degrees earned, as well as licensing, certifications, skills, and job duties. 

Verification of credentials is a critical step in your hiring decision-making process. With negative fallout being anything from a loss of organizational credibility and damage to your employer brand to fraudulent behavior that could financially cripple your company, it’s not a corner you can afford to cut. 

The Most Grievous Resume Lie 

Off all the untruths listed on resumes or profiles, fudging information about a professional certification or licensure tops the list in terms of severity. This action is not only dishonest, but it’s also illegal – as is falsifying one’s education. It’s also illegal to list a certificate or license that has expired or been revoked. 

What Educational Falsification Looks Like

Lying about education qualifications can be in the form of an outright lie, such as making up a degree from a school a candidate never attended, or attended but never completed all the required work. Or, it could be reporting a degree, license, or certification from a “diploma mill” – a substandard or fraudulent institution that lacks accreditation and is not recognized as a bona fide educational provider. 

The Risk Involved

Most of what you hear about job candidates comes directly from them. They actively promote themselves – and there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as they’re being honest. So, as much as they may impress you, earn your regard, or generate a positive gut feeling, you can’t stop there. 

  • Work with a qualified, experienced employment screening firm. Look for experience, a positive track record, and client recommendations and testimonials. 
  • Involve multiple people in your interview and candidate review process. After they have met separately with candidates, have them convene as a group to confirm the consistency of information gleaned. 
  • If something, even if it seems relatively minor, doesn’t feel right, put the brakes on. There may be a “halo effect” when interviews are going smoothly, and things are progressing well, and then someone spots a potential red flag. You can always pick up where you left off, once the right fact-checking is complete.  

As illustrated in the high-profile cases above, sometimes top executives are not as thoroughly vetted as other employees due to assumptions that they have already been “screened” by virtue of their past employment record or notoriety. Often, senior-level hires don’t even complete an application until late in their selection process, versus others who are required to submit one very early on. 

The bottom line: At some point, every piece of relevant information provided by a candidate must be verified. To ensure that you’re doing this consistently and doing it right, contact Chane Solutions today.  Let us put our nationwide reputation for excellence in employment screening and drug testing to work for you. 



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