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What Do Education History Checks Show?

By Michael Klazema on 12/11/2018

Many jobs require some form of post-secondary education. Most employers demand a specific type of bachelor’s degree, and some may even require graduate or doctoral degrees. In other cases, an applicant’s degrees or educational honors elevate that person above other candidates in the eyes of a hiring manager. Simply put, education is an integral part of the pre-employment screening process. As a result, education verification checks are important as well.

Statistically, most employers have caught applicants lying on their resumes. Verification checks of all kinds are generally meant to help root out these instances of dishonesty. Employers hire people based on their experience, skills, accomplishments, and overall ability. If any part of a resume is exaggerated, it can lead a hiring manager to make a job offer under false pretenses. Verification checks—including work history background checksprofessional license verifications, and education background checks—help employers hire with more confidence.

An education background check verifies the details provided by an applicant in the education or schooling section of his or her resume. Such details may include institutions attended, dates of attendance, programs of study, degrees received, and any honors associated with the degree.

Typically, employers that use education verification checks will run an individual verification on each degree or diploma listed on the candidate’s resume. This process involves contacting the school, college, or university and asking the institution to verify the information included on the resume.

A thorough education verification can highlight lies, fabrications, and embellishments in the education section of the resume. As such, it is an extremely effective way to reduce the risk of an underqualified hire.

Resumé lies about education run the gamut from critical to relatively minor. For instance, if a candidate were embarrassed about having taken six or seven years to earn what is usually a four-year degree, she might tweak the dates of attendance to avoid awkward questions. In other cases, lies about education history are more severe: a candidate who attended a university but never graduated may try to claim a degree. In some cases, candidates fabricate entire degrees despite having never even set foot in the college or university they mention. An education background check can shine a light on any of these lies, both identifying candidates who are not honest and flagging applicants whose lies render them clearly unqualified for the position at hand.


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