Background Checks Show Candidates’ Education History

According to Statistic Brain, 70% of collegegraduation students reported they would lie on a resume to get the job they wanted.

This should be more than enough reason to make you want to check resumes for fraudulent educational claims.

Most companies already know how important it is to check a candidate’s educational history, but there’s a difference between knowing you should check and actually verifying their education.

Education background checks can help you verify:

  • Degrees, diplomas, training, certificates, and GED obtained
  • Credentials and honors
  • Graduation date
  • Whether the candidate attended the high school, college, university, or technical/trade school listed
  • School name, city, region and state
  • National and international education history

Although background checks verify these aspects of a candidate’s education history, there are issues that can prolong the background check process.

Must Have Permission

You’ll need the candidate’s consent to conduct the background check.

If you’re planning on contacting their listed schools, you may have to wait for the school to receive the candidate’s permission to release their educational information to you.

This may present another issue.

Some schools may not allow you to contact them for information regarding previous or current students.

If that happens, you’ll need the candidate to provide you with proof that they attend or graduated from the school.

Consider requesting a certified transcript.

Candidates should be able to get access to their transcripts for a small fee.

You’ll see the classes they have taken, which will help prove they learned the skills listed on their resume.

Waiting on the School

Contacting the school may be an issue if the school is closed. If so, you’ll have to wait until the school is open.

It might also take time to locate the candidate’s records.

You might be thinking, “What could be so difficult about looking up a name?”

You’ll be surprised how much you can come across issues with name changes.

Candidates may have attended school under their maiden name and got married after attending the school. Foreign students may also change their names or provide a shortened form of their name on their resume.

Either way, you’ll need the name the candidate used while they attended school.

Without it, you won’t know what name to have the school search for.

Must Wait for Degree to Post

Depending on when the candidate graduated, you might have to wait for the school to post or send their degree.

Be prepared for this to take up to several weeks.

Watch Out for Diploma Mills

Did you know there are sites that help candidates to create a fake degree or certificate?

According to Statistic Brain, 21% of resumes mention fraudulent degrees.

These fraudulent degrees can be obtained through a diploma mill.

A diploma what?

Diploma mills are sites that pose as a fake institution to sell fake degrees and certificates for a fee. Degrees from these sites are solely based on the candidate’s life and work experiences.

How can you tell when a candidate lists a fraudulent degree from a diploma mill?

You’ll need to check for these signs:

  • The candidate’s school name sounds similar to an actual school name
  • The listed institution is not accredited by the Department of Education or Council on Higher Education Accreditation
  • There’s a heavy focus on the candidate’s life and work experience
  • The institution has no address or location (key red flag is a PO Box number only)

These issues do not mean that an education background check will not get you the information you need.

And you’ll still be able to verify a candidate’s education history. It just might take longer than expected.

However, if you’re finding that you are trying to prove a candidate’s educational claims more than they are, this could be a red flag.

Candidates should be willing to meet you half way in verifying the information on their resume.

If not, this may be a sign that their education history is fraudulent.

Now that you have your candidate’s education history verified, be on the lookout for our next blog: conducting a criminal history check.