Every summer, the Higher Education Degree Datacheck (HEDD) surveys students and graduates about degree fraud. The annual results are pretty consistent – about a third of people embellish or exaggerate their academic qualifications when applying for jobs. It’s also consistent when matched with other surveys in the UK and in other countries.
The most recent online survey by the HEDD performed suggests that changing or embellishing qualifications in order to boost employment prospects in a tough jobs market is now ‘common practice’. Of the 568 students and graduates surveyed the study found that almost a third (31%) knew someone who had lied about their qualifications, while even more (37%) said it had become common practice to improve the chances of getting a job.
You may think that this is old news and that, as everyone else does it, why shouldn’t you; but when you really think about it, one third is a shocking figure. Look around your office. Can you pick out that third from the colleagues around you? Let’s not beat about the bush: it’s lying, it’s fraud – and what’s more, it’s illegal.
The lengths people now go to, to cover their tracks include supplying false Degree certificates and course modules which don’t, and never did, exist. For as little as £30, you can purchase a novelty degree certificate online. Pick your university, course and qualification and within 48 hours it’s yours, complete with seals and crests.
Obviously in a highly competitive job market everyone wants to get ahead and many may feel that embellishments to their CV are the only way to jump up the list of potential candidates, the unfortunate thing for these people is that more and more employers are becoming increasingly savvy in the ways they check up on potential employees.
The amount of companies using HEDD to check the legitimacy of CV’s, indeed making the checks part of the HR process, is increasing all the time. So before you add on a couple of extra grades which you don’t actually have, think to yourself, is it worth it?