Phony Degrees and Other Resume Lies

employeescreenIQ says about 10% of the education verifications it completed during the second quarter of 2008 uncovered discrepancies between the information it obtained through its investigations and facts provided by job candidates.

This is shocking — not as electrocuting as Fordyce writer and attorney Jeff Allen’s past findings that over 60% of all resumes contain some misrepresentation — but alarming nonetheless.

employeescreenIQ’s research revealed that high school diplomas were falsified more often than a college degree; post-graduate and doctoral degrees were the most infrequently falsified types of degrees; and applicants’ false diploma/degree claims rarely involved an institution they never attended. They also say recruiters need to be wary of “diploma mill” schools (the company is offering a free white paper on how to identify these institutions).

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Steven Rothberg, president of, says job candidates are more likely to inflate their academic experience than to outright lie.

“Few will claim they graduated from a school they didn’t attend, or state they have a business degree when they actually graduated with a major in communications. Given the reluctance of many, and perhaps most schools, to delve into details about the academic qualifications of their alumni, these exaggerations can be very, very difficult…to identify,” explains Rothberg.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.


1 Comment on “Phony Degrees and Other Resume Lies

  1. Interesting. Believe it or not, we parted ways with a recruiter in the past that had never thought about attending college. This individuals resume was later found to have a BS degree from a predominant local university.

    Does attending a college career fair constitute a four year degree now a days? I would think that the figure is closer to the 60% estimate.

    Thanks for sharing.

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