I have a question, I applied to a Fortune 500 company with over 50,000 employees. They did a very extensive background check on me and haven’t let me know anything as of yet. My start date was due to be July 16th. There was one issue and that was with my degree. Now, my resume was not updated for some time (over a year) which is totally my fault. I had an old projected graduation date of 2006 on there and I never noticed. I looked over the resume before I sent it out, but I had just glanced at the education/qualifications part. I was more focused on overlooking my responsibilities and duties in my current job.

To make a long story short I ended up getting an offer. And at my interview when asked of my education I said I had not completed my degree and I was about 8 classes shy (which reflects in my transcripts from college that I personally sent to the HR department) and also I had to complete an official online application with the company. In that application there was a choice: Not yet received Diploma, HS Diploma, Some College etc etc. I checked the option “Some College” however, when I uploaded my resume it put “Associates Degree + 13 years”. I received an email from one of the people conducting the background check asking me to verify my degree

(this is a transcript from his exact email:

I have just about finalized your background
verification…the only item that we were not able to verify is your
associate’s degree. If you have a moment, can you fax over a copy of
your degree to the number listed below? That is the last item pending at
this point…Thanks in advance!” )

and I had wrote him: “
I have not completed all of my coursework for my associates degree. I am currently (exactly) half way through. I have 2 semesters to go. When completing my official application with (COMPANY) I had indicated that I completed Some College Coursework. Also, when asked in my interview if I had my degree I had told my interviewer that I did not have it yet and that particular part of my resume had not been updated. I was looking back at the official application I had submitted to (COMPANY) via the online source and I did notice that while uploading my CVV/Resume the computer automatically put “Associates Degree + 13 Years” which is not the case. I did not catch it at the time as I had already answered “Some College” when asked about my Education. I apologize for any and all confusion. I hope that clears everything up.”

My question is this: Since they now think I’ve falsified my degree, is there any way to redeem myself with the company? I have a good source that works at the location I applied to who let me know that it doesn’t look too good for me, however they were reviewing my file and there is a small chance I could still get in. (that was as a friend, not an official word from the company) Also, in my interview I was overly prepared with a 30 + page portfolio showcasing all the various skills and work I’ve put in over the years, which I whole heartedly feel gave me a very large advantage in obtaining the offer and possible position. I am young, adaptable and very knowledgeable in the field in which I applied for. (I am not trying to sound cocky, as I could always stand to learn more and more)

Well, you provided a nice explanation, but unfortunately mistakes like this can cost you. I don’t want to be unnecessarily harsh, but PLEASE PROOF READ YOUR RESUME BEFORE SUBMITTING. (No snarky comments about typos in my blog. This is a blog. It is anonymous and I am lazy.)

For you, it wasn’t just a matter of not proofreading, but not updating. Even though you made a mistake (and didn’t try deceive), it still came back around and bit you in the behind.

Personally, I’d probably recognize it as a mistake, especially if your resume said, “projected” or “anticipated” about the degree. If it just said, “AA Degree, June 2006” I’d be less inclined to believe you.

Let us know if you got the job or not.

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2 thoughts on “Oops, I Did it Again!

  1. If this is the full and accurate story, I wouldn’t revoke a job offer over it. The resume contained outdated info, not a lie, you were honest about it in the online applicaiton, and you were honest about it in the interview. They would be essentially revoking your job offer for a proofreading error.

    Assuming there aren’t more details to it, I would recommend approaching it from that mental stance. Call the hiring manager and say tell him or her you’re morified about it, you would never be deceptive about this, and in fact you were very up front about it in the online application and in the interview. Ask what can be done to clear it up now. It really doesn’t sound like you lied (as so many others do), so proceed accordingly!

  2. I agree with Evil and Ask A Manager – if it said “projected” or “anticipated” you are slightly better off – I’m surprised HR didn’t ask about this in the interview process. I would have.

    Also, if you were asked filled out an application, what did you list under education?

    Best of luck to you!

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