Real-life advice from a real-life recruiter

Credential Verification – Is Honesty the Best Policy?

Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to your credentials.  Credentials that are verified by employers can include anything from criminal history, past employment, credit history to drug testing.  Credentials that are verified also are dependent on the employer and the industry that you are trying to gain employment in.

When it comes to your credentials – you should tell the truth no matter what is at stake.  We recruiters are human too.  We understand that life and bad things happen to good people.  Mistakes happen and people change.  When candidates are upfront with me – I appreciate their honesty and willingness to discuss what’s happened in the past without me having to ask about it.  However, if you lie during any portion of the application process and you are caught, and most likely you will be, it makes me wonder what else you have been untruthful about.

If you know something is going to show up in a background check – be ready to discuss it.  Briefly tell the individual what happened, how you were at fault and what actions/steps you took to fix/correct the situation.

Sometimes omitting something from your background can be an innocent mistake.  You may have forgotten that you worked at that fast food restaurant that one summer in high school…  Never thought that that noise violation that you got from the campus police, in college, would have made it to your criminal record…  Didn’t think the DUI you received the night of that really awesome party was something worth listing on your application… You get the picture.

Embellishing your credentials isn’t always a good idea either.  It can easily turn into you misrepresenting yourself if you make up colleges you’ve attended, degrees you’ve achieved, positions you have held or awards/accomplishments you’ve received.  Just to make yourself look better – is it worth the risk of missing out on an opportunity when you were perfectly qualified for it with your real credentials?

Company’s do these credential verifications for a reason.  Why?  To verify that you’ve done what you’ve said you’ve done.  The moral of the story is to be honest when it comes to your past because you never know when that fib is going to catch up with you.

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