Fake References: A Dangerous Web Service For Job Seekers – Reference Education

First and foremost, this is a warning to both job seekers and employers… It is in no way a recommendation that anyone use fraudulent references.Several websites have begun to offer phony reference services for job seekers. At first glance, this may look like a good idea to overcome spotty work history. However, it is a risky move. Every employer has – or should have – a policy of immediate termination for lying on resumes and applications.One of these services, Career Excuse, encourages candidates to create their own work history, tailored to their desired field. For a fee and ongoing subscription, the website will provide references, work history verification and other fictitious documents to support the falsehoods in a candidate’s resume. Disturbingly enough, they even offer phony funeral excuses.However, these services do not guarantee that they will stand up to a rigorous background check. In fact, many of these services carry a disclaimer that they will assume that the information provided by the job seeker is true. This creates a reflective action back on the job seeker, thereby absolving the fake reference provider. In other words, they state that their information is only as good as the statements created by the candidates.To avoid this trap, a thorough HR department will confirm work histories, criminal checks and education verification through their own resources, not just the phone numbers provided by the candidates. And they have the legal right to do so.When a job seeker signs either an online or paper application, he is signing a legal document. It is not merely a formality, especially when employers include certifications like the one below to gain permission for the background check:”I, _____ (the candidate), hereby certify that the facts set forth in the above employment application are true and complete to the best of my knowledge. I authorize XYZ Company to verify their accuracy and to obtain reference information on my work performance. I hereby release XYZ Company from any and all liability of whatever kind and nature which, at any time, could result from obtaining and having an employment decision based on such information. I understand that, if employed, falsified statements of any kind or omissions of facts called for on this application shall be considered sufficient basis for dismissal.”This means that the candidate is granting the potential employer the right to conduct a thorough background check. Any discrepancies can cost the candidate the job offer or even employment if he has already been hired before the falsehood is discovered.In addition to checking references, the employer may require employment verification, education verification, criminal background checks and drug screening. A credit check may be run in some situations, specifically when the potential employee will have any contact with financial information or actual funds.Considering the severe penalties, it is not recommended that any candidate provide knowingly fraudulent materials or references to get a job. Eventually, the truth will catch up in brutal and legal ways.(c) 2011 Donna Shannon