Today’s job market is competitive and job applicants will do whatever they can to stand out above the rest. Sometimes, that pressure can tempt people into falsifying their credentials in order to seem more impressive and, thus, more hireable. The only way employers can be positive that an applicant’s resume really is as good as he or she says is to run a background check on them. A good background check should include criminal history and past employment verification. Perhaps if some of the following companies had done their homework a little better, they would have been able to avoid some significantly embarrassing situations.
Robert Irving’s cake mistake
For instance, the Food Network’s Dinner Impossible thought they had made a great find when they hired Robert Irving. Among his purported accomplishments was having designed Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding cake. However, in 2008 it came to light that the closest he had come to the cake was picking the fruit for it because he was attending the school where it was made.
MIT dean is denied
Despite its impressively intellectual persona, it took MIT 28 years to realize one of its staff, Marilee Jones, not only had never received a master’s degree, she had never finished her undergraduate degree either. When the falsification came to light in 2007, Jones chose to resign, admitting she had “misrepresented her academic degrees to the institute” because she “did not have the courage to correct [her] resume when [she] applied for [her] current job or at any time since.”
Notre Dame Head Coach never actually played football
George O’Leary probably gets the prize for the shortest time served as head coach of Notre Dame’s football team. Just 5 days after being named to the position, he resigned because the university realized he had never received the master’s degree he claimed to have gotten from New York University. He had in fact attended the school, but never graduated.
Even worse, the university discovered that despite telling them he had played football for three years at the University of New Hampshire, O’Leary had actually never played at all. Upon his resignation, O’Leary released this statement: “Due to a selfish and thoughtless act many years ago, I have personally embarrassed Notre Dame, its alumni, and fans.”
Avoid this type of public humiliation by doing background checks on applicants before you hire them. It’s just a good business policy to have, no matter what line of work you’re in.