CVS / MAR. 27, 2015
version 2, draft 2

Digital Badges Help Stamp Out CV Qualification Fraud

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Lying on your CV is not smart. Quite apart from potentially landing you with a job that you are not qualified or suited for, it is a very small leap in a recruiter’s mind from ’white’ lies about small things to criminality and fraud. Bumping up your grades, including an extra qualification, or massaging the truth on your resume might seem harmless, but it can be outright fraud, and can cost you not only your job, but your professional reputation and career.

And yet, people still lie on their CV’s, about previous jobs, achievements and qualifications. Recruiters know this but have limited recourse to check - even reasons for leaving are often withheld in the referencing process, leaving recruiters scouring social media for clues about their potential hires outside of the interview room.

See also: 3 Reasons Why You Should Never Lie on Your CV

Qualification Fraud

One of the areas in which lying can be most damaging, and potentially dangerous for business, is in the listing of qualifications achieved. Especially in highly regulated industries, there can be great pressure to have the best and latest qualifications so that the letters after your name make your CV stand out from the rest. This is a pressure that affect new graduates even more than other groups, who are fighting for a small number of quality jobs with even higher demands in terms of academic achievement.

But lying here, by overstating or completely falsifying qualifications is obviously bad for business. And while employers up to now have had some support in checking degrees and other formal qualifications, through the Higher Education Degree Datacheck, it has been an arduous and time consuming task.

Pearson’s Acclaim - Badges of achievement

It is for this reason that education and training company Pearson have created Acclaim - a cloud based system offering digital badges which are awarded for completion of qualifications and training courses. These badges get around the age old issue of lacking proof of qualifications and are a lot easier to share and show than the framed certificate hanging in the hallway. By linking the online badge directly with the organisation or authority that gave the award, employers can then check directly the authenticity - without any need for jobseekers to bring in certificates or other paper documents.

The plan is a popular one and holds appeal for job seekers and employers alike. It seems a natural next step along the line of digital recruitment, and Pearson expect to issue around one million badges this year for their own training courses, and in cooperation with other companies such as Adobe, Microsoft and Citrix. They are working with career sites such as LinkedIn to ensure that the badges are visible to the jobseeker’s wider network, and become a badge of achievement to help individuals move up the career ladder.

Benefits for all

See Also: Everybody Lies on Their CVs: Even CEOs

The advantages of the Pearson system are obvious - it levels the playing field to ensure that everyone can see the true qualifications and achievements of potential candidates, to the benefit of employers and those looking for work. It is a big step in stamping out one of the opportunities for fraud and also protecting those of us who would never dream of fibbing on their CV from being pipped at the post by another individual who was prepared to bump up their grades or add in an extra few qualifications. And, possibly best of all, you will never need to spend an anxious evening hunting through the loft and the bookshelves for the ’safe’ place you put all your school exam certificates those many years ago, but can simply click and share your digital badges, and relax!

Do you think it is a good concept or do you think employers will ignore digital badges? Your thoughts and comments below please...

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