How Do Employers Verify College Degrees?

Your resume can spell the difference between landing the job of your dreams and checking the classified ads all over again. That’s why it can be tempting for some to lie on their resumes, especially about their education.

Employers check education on resumes. However, based on a study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), only about 34% of employers do so. Those who do may carry out a verification of one’s educational background during the hiring process or after hiring the applicant.

Below, we will talk about practically everything you need to know about employers checking education on resumes — why, when and how. After checking out the entirety of this article, you will have a much better idea of whether you should continue your plan to embellish your resume or tell nothing but the truth.

Often the easiest way to verify an employee’s education is to ask the applicant for an official transcript from their college or university. Another option is to use a third-party verification service to conduct an educational background check.

How do employers verify education?

What is an education background check?

Sometimes companies will hire third-party verification services to screen their potential job candidates. The third-party services will request your transcripts from the school or university in a similar manner to an independent request from a company.

Why employers need education background checks?

With the wealth of information they find in standard background checks, you might wonder why a hiring manager or company might need an education background check from you. Employers need education background checks for several reasons. The first and most obvious is to verify that you have the education and skills for the job.

Here are some more reasons for employers to verify education:

In today’s competitive job market, many candidates find that even entry-level positions often require a postsecondary degree. It’s not surprising that some applicants take to exaggerating their qualifications to improve their chances of getting hired.

Some candidates are willing to risk being discovered lying on their resumes. The disadvantages, however, could include poor performance at a job due to inexperience or being fired when the lie is discovered.

Diploma mills

Diploma mills are companies that offer degrees, diplomas or certificates for purchase, requiring no academic effort at all. These degrees, of course, are not legitimate, as the companies are not accredited educational institutions. Diploma mills are purely transactional. Employers are becoming more aware that a degree can seem legitimate until a thorough background check unearths the truth.


How does a job verify college degree?

Generally, education background checks can go back as far as they need to search for official records. Employers can confirm a candidate’s diplomas and degrees no matter when they received them. In some cases, an education background check shows GPA and honors earned.

Do most companies verify college degree?

So, Do Employers Check Degrees? Only about 34 percent of employers check the educational qualifications listed on resumes, according to a 2004 study by the Society for Human Resource Management—even though the association found that 25 percent of people inflated their educational achievements on resumes.

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