How Not to Get a Job: Fake Your Credentials

27 April 2007 at 6:58PM 1 comment

“I have resigned as MIT’s Dean of Admissions because very regrettably, I misled the Institute about my academic credentials.

“I misrepresented my academic degrees when I first applied to MIT 28 years ago and did not have the courage to correct my resume when I applied for my current job or at any time since.”

In this message, Marilee Jones, the dean of admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology admits that she falsified her credentials when she applied for a job. The New York Times reports that for many years Jones had represented herself as having degrees from Albany Medical College, Union College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She didn’t even have bachelors. The Times continues:

A spokesman for Rensselaer said that while Ms. Jones did not graduate from the institution, she was a part-time nonmatriculated student during the 1974-75 school year. The other colleges said they had no record of her.

Since I started recruiting in 1991, I’ve found about twenty candidates who have faked degrees or schools. They didn’t get an offer, or had the offer rescinded.

This continues to be the easiest fraud to perpetrate, even though it is the easiest to uncover. Lazy recruiters let things like this slide.


  • For Candidates: Don’t fake a degree. Don’t even think about it.
  • For Recruiters: Trust but verify. The two big sites for confirming degrees are the National Student Clearing House and DegreeCheck. If the school isn’t listed, contact either the Office of Admissions and Records or the Registrar.

Entry filed under: Corporate, NotJobs. Tags: , , .

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My Core Ideas

1. "I can't tell you the best way to get a job - because there is no one best way. After 21 years of recruiting, I CAN share things I've seen candidates do to guarantee they DIDN'T get the job."

2. "Most companies don't realize how their recruiting process impacts their candidate pool, and their business. Attention to simple things will result in big improvements."

About the Author

Troy Bettinger, SPHR is a Denver Recruiter, Public Speaker, HR Metrics Analyst and Human Resources Leader who has been recruiting in corporate and municipal environments since 1991.

He specializes in the complete hiring process: defining, sourcing, recruiting, testing, interviewing, offering and orienting new hires. He's also well versed in strategic human resources, college recruiting, diversity recruiting, AAP, EEO, ATS integration, recruiting metrics, social media, recruiting leadership, training and employment branding.


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