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It would be great if there were a foolproof way to identify “self-graduators” just by looking at someone or their resume.  Unfortunately, that is not possible.  A “self-graduator” is a person who presents himself or herself as having degrees or certificates that he or she has not earned.  In other words, they have “graduated” themselves from a school without actually graduating.  They also have a tendency to be very creative with the schools they choose as their alumnus.

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Many times “self-graduators” choose Ivy League or prestigious schools as a ploy used to throw potential employers off.  They think that employers will not question a high level of education or a prestigious school on a resume.  Sadly enough, some employers won’t question a resume, especially if the job candidate interviews well and has some verifiable references from past employers.

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Many employers will not question the education if the applicant has verifiable employment references.  These employers assume the job candidate must have the credentials listed on the resume to have worked in the previous positions.  These employers overlook the fact that maybe no one ever verified the educational background of the candidate.  Therefore, this type of job seeker may continue to advance in his or her career as a result of lying on resumes and job applications.

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One of the best ways to identify a “self-graduator” is to conduct a pre-employment background screen on all job applicants, regardless of the position a company is recruiting for.  An employment screening firm has the resources and experience to reveal “self-graduators”.

Infamous self-graduators

Resume padding is a very common practice.  Here are some examples of infamous “self-graduators”:

  1. George O’Leary, ex Notre-Dame football coach

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In 2001, O’Leary divulged his lies about his academic and athletic backgrounds.  Mr. O’Leary claimed a master’s degree in education from New York University.  He also claimed to have played college football and earned three letters.  Mr. O’Leary was a student at NYU, but did not earn a degree.  He did play football but he never earned a letter, let alone play in a game.

  1. Marilee Jones, admissions dean for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Jones fudged her credentials, claiming to be a scientist with degrees in biology from Rennselaar Polytechnic Institute and the Albany Medical College.  She also claimed to have a doctorate degree.  In a statement Jones said, “I did not have the courage to correct my resume when I applied for my current job or at any time since.”

These are somewhat docile examples of employees who practice resume padding.  Imagine hiring an applicant with a bogus medical degree without proper verification.  The consequences for that type of dishonesty can be devastating to a business and to patients.

The consequences of hiring a self-graduator

When an employer hires a person at face value, they are not practicing due diligence.  In business “due diligence” is the effort made by an employer to avoid harm to employees and associates.  An employer has the responsibility of due diligence for its employees.

Among the consequences are lawsuits involving harm due to negligent hiring and costs associated with replacing employees who “self-graduate”.

How to avoid a self- graduator

Employers should not hire a candidate based on just a resume and a good job interview.  The information on a resume or job application needs to be verified prior to making a job offer.  At the very least, an employer should only make a job offer pending verification of the information the job applicant has supplied on his or her resume and application.  Due to the limitations of a human resource department or a small business owner, this is best left to a professional employment-screening firm.

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‘Mule Skinners’ Subject To Background Employment Checks Fri, 01 Oct 2010 19:14:45 +0000 Stephanie

Background employment checksIn 2009, it was discovered that a new anti-terror would affect more people than was ever expected. The law required that transportation workers must go through a background employment check. This new law affected an unsuspecting class of workers, called ‘mule skinners’. A mule skinner, as reported in an article from CNN, is one that walks alongside two mules that are pulling a boat along a canal. According to the park’s director, the boat reaches speeds of 2 miles per hour.

New Law Affects Anyone Holding Credentials Issued By The U.S. Coast Guard

The park’s director contacted their U.S. Representative, Charles Dent, about the issue. In response, he contacted the Transportation Security Administration requesting a waiver for the employees of the park. However, they referenced the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, which requires anyone holding credentials from the U.S. Coast Guard to obtain the Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC). To obtain these credentials requires that the park employees go through stringent background employment checks.

Representative To Work With Homeland Security Secretary

Dent has not given up the fight to reduce the regulations imposed for mule skinners. After hitting a brick wall with TSA, he spoke with the incoming Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, to work on a resolution. During his presentation, Dent showed a photo of two workers dressed in colonial wear walking alongside the mules with the boat in the background. The picture illustrated the requirement for the new cards for the mule skinners would be extreme and demonstrated how the rule has reached farther than its intended purpose of protecting the United States from attack. Following the presentation Napolitano stated she would work with Dent to come to a resolution on the issue.

Background Employment Checks Still Important For Any Employer

Background employment checksWhile the government mandated TWIC cards might be a little excessive, any employer would benefit from knowing their business, employees and visitors were safe from threats. Background employment checks provide a company with an extensive history on their employing including checking them against the national crime databases. AccuScreen has been performing background screening since 1994 and is a leader in the industry. Their reports are 100% guaranteed, and reports can be obtained right away, while others may take up to 72 hours, depending on the type of report and the individual being reviewed. Contact Accuscreen today and ensure the safety of your business!

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Employers: Can You Identify A Fake Diploma? Mon, 20 Sep 2010 21:18:19 +0000 Stephanie

What is a fake diploma?

Fake diplomas come from “diploma mills”. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary defines a diploma mill as, “An institution of higher education operating without supervision of a state or professional agency and granting diplomas which are either fraudulent or, because of the lack of proper standards, worthless.”

Identifying a fake diploma

The reality is that 43% of job applicants lie on their resume′ in one form or another. One of the biggest lies on a resume or job application is a fake education. This can be presented by false claims of graduating from a school by supplying fake diplomas from diploma mills. Regardless of the how the fake education is presented, it is fraudulent and should be of great concern to employers.

The best way to stop this type of unethical behavior by applicants is to conduct an employment background screening prior to hire. Hiring a pre-employment firm such as will help uncover and identify fake degrees and bogus claims of an education. has the resources, experience and skills to verify legitimate schools versus diploma mill degrees.

The market for fake diplomas

Employers need to be aware that the market for fake diplomas is very lucrative and very easy to set up and get away with. Through the ease of the Internet, diploma mills and “phony” diploma companies can provide low cost, good quality diplomas. Even if the government steps in to stop them, they are up and running on the Internet the very next day. Unethical job applicants are more than happy to take full advantage of the ease of obtaining a diploma through a diploma mill or a “novelty diploma” company. These companies make it very easy to get a fake education and diploma for a relatively low price. Some fake “schools” and novelty companies can provide bogus transcripts for an extra fee.

Why employees use fake diplomas

Employees use fake degrees because it is easy and the job market can be very competitive. Even a position does not require a degree, a fake degree will be used to “get a leg up” on the competition.

The consequences of hiring fake graduates

The consequences that can arise out of hiring candidates with fake degrees are financial and physical damages. Employees who receive their degrees from diploma mills are not properly trained. They are more likely to make mistakes on the job that can result in a lawsuit or financial loss for a business. This is in addition to physical harm they can cause fellow employees and the public.

Making sure you avoid the “diploma mill” graduates

What it comes down to is that lazy and lying job applicants will use diploma mills to “earn” their degree. Employers can’t keep job applicants from buying their education, but they can take action to avoid hiring them. By conducting a professional background screening, including an educational records search, many inconsistencies can be discovered and problem employees averted.

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Outrageous Resume Lies, Frauds, and Employment Scam Artists Revealed in Free Webinar September 9th Mon, 06 Sep 2010 23:31:08 +0000 admin

Liars, con artists, and employment scammers are about to have their cover blown in a live webinar hosted by professional background screening expert Kevin Connell. In this free interactive webinar, Connell will share real stories of outrageous resume lies and reveal insider secrets of employment scam artists.

TAMPA FL — Today’s most prosperous liars, con artists, employment scammers, and the fraudulent websites that aid and abed them are about to have their cover blown in a live webinar hosted by professional background screening expert Kevin Connell.

In this free interactive webinar, Connell will share real stories of outrageous resume lies and reveal insider secrets of employment scam artists. Actual names of websites that help con men and scam artists achieve their goal of robbing employers of millions of dollars and trade secrets will be revealed.

“This webinar is a ‘must’ for anyone involved in the hiring, recruiting or staffing of new employees. Have no dissolutions — there are con artists and scammers working the hiring system to rob businesses blind. Knowing what to look for is essential to avoid employment scams and to protect the precious assets of the business,” said Connell.

According to Connell, professional con artists aren’t the only ones lying on resumes and job applications to try to weasel their way into companies.

“When the economy recedes, job applicants tend to lie more. 43% of the job applicants that we do a background check on come back with a discrepancy,” said Connell.

These resume lies, often centered on inflating credentials or hiding criminal history, can chip away at the integrity of a company. The webinar will show employers exactly how to spot these resume lies that can allow unqualified and potentially dangerous people access to the organization.

The webinar will take place on Thursday, September 9th 2010 at 11am Eastern Standard Time.

Attendees can register for the free webinar online at:

After registering, participants will receive a link to view the live webinar online. Space is limited. Those interested are encouraged to register quickly to reserve their space.

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Employers: Avoid The Worst Employees Of The Year! Wed, 01 Sep 2010 19:22:33 +0000 Stephanie

The Worst Employees
These employees seem to cause or attract trouble wherever they go. The problems can be mild like the chronic troublemaker who always seems to have a hard time getting to work on time because the car had a flat tire or there was an “accident”. Then there is the extreme employee who can cause physical and financial harm.

Employers can avoid the “worst employees of the year” by having solid recruiting practices in place. This should include using a professional pre-employment screening firm such as Accu-Screen, Inc. The careful screen of an employee can reveal many inconsistencies and allow an employer to make a solid and informed hiring decision.

When you use the services provided by Accu-Screen, Inc. you can avoid hiring employees who are:

* Violent
* Lazy
* Unskilled
* Liars
* Criminal
* Problematic

The worst employees awards

If there was an award for the “worst employees of the year”, these employees would win hands down:

The violent employee

This violent employee should be avoided at all costs. This type of employee does not work well with others and may cause harm to fellow employees and other persons they come into contact with at work.

The lazybones employee

This type of employee will come to work, do as little work as possible and complain all day long about how much work they do. This type of employee is generally unproductive and likes to spend a good part of the day socializing. This employee acts busy when the boss is around, but will go from cubicle to cubicle at the first opportunity.

Unskilled workers

Several kinds of employees can be categorized under unskilled employees. This employee will usually embellish his or her skills during an interview to land a job.

The lack of skill is readily apparent once this person is asked to perform the tasks in the position. Unfortunately by then they could have caused minor or very serious damage to a business, fellow employees, clients or patients.


Watch out for fake licenses, credentials, references and even bogus degrees from this employee. They are also known to outright steal someone else’s identity in order to get a job.


Some job seekers with a criminal past will lie about it on their resume′or application.

These employees range from petty criminals to violent offenders. Regardless of the criminal record, an employer should be aware of this prior to making a job offer. Keep in mind that an employer is responsible for his or her employee’s behavior while on the clock.

Problematic employees

* The “Finagle’s Law” employee who is always the victim of an elaborate chain of events that prevents them from being at work on time, coming back from lunch on time and requires them to leave early.
* The “sufferer” who always works harder and longer than everyone else. This employee also refuses to take a lunch or a break because they just have so much work to do. This wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t spend half of their time letting everyone know how “overworked or busy” they are.
* The “saboteur” You can’t turn your back on this employee because she is eyeing your job. This employee makes it difficult for an employer to do their job because of the time, energy and effort involved in managing this employee.

If an award for the worst employee of the year were being given, any of these employees would easily receive it. Employers make sure you don’t end up with these “winners”.

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Who’s Responsible? Pre-Hiring Neglect Leads to Rape Mon, 30 Aug 2010 16:37:18 +0000 Stephanie

The BP oil spill has certainly resulted in quite a mess that needs cleaning up. But, the mess goes much farther than the spill itself. At least one very serious legal issue has arisen as a result of a lack of pre-employment screening.

According to reports, one Rundy Charles Robertson, 41, a temporary worker hired to work on the oil spill cleanup, raped a coworker – a woman on the crew he was supervising. Turns out the victim was working side-by-side with a convicted sex offender.

Robertson, with a criminal record dating back to 1991, a 1996 conviction for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and a 2003 conviction for cruelty to children, was hired by an employment firm contracted by an environmental firm working for BP to provide cleanup workers. Now, everyone’s playing “pass the buck.”

BP hired the Miller Environmental Group, who hired Aerotek, the staffing agency, to provide workers for the cleanup. Aerotek did not perform background checks on the employees it hired for the job. One witness even said that potential workers were applying for jobs with house-arrest collars on. Aerotek claims that it did not require background checks because they were not required in their contract with Miller. However, they did start requiring checks about three weeks after the fact, per Miller’s request.

Aerotek claims it is not responsible because it was only following the guidelines Miller required. BP claims they are not responsible because they entrusted Miller with the task. Is Miller responsible?

Ultimately, someone will be held legally and financially responsible for not performing background checks on individuals hired to work on the BP cleanup. Sure, Robertson, if convicted, will serve time for his crime.

But, neither a jail sentence for Robertson, nor reparations made by any or all of the companies involved will eliminate the fact that a woman has been brutalized.

A simple background check would have uncovered Robertson’s criminal history and excluded him from employment.

Who’s responsible?

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Protecting the Young and the Elderly Thu, 26 Aug 2010 16:11:56 +0000 Stephanie

A new law in Florida has been passed that permanently prohibits sex offenders and career criminals from ever working in a day care center, assisted living facility, home health care agency, or any other position where they would be working with children or the elderly. The law, which took effect August 1, reinforces the belief that some individuals should never be given access to vulnerable populations.

Statistics indicate that recidivism rates are upwards of 67%. This means that two out of every three offenders will re-offend. And, some experts claim that this number is far too low and may be more like 80%. They indicate that these rates are lower than they should be because most studies follow released offenders only for a short period of time; usually less than five years.

One study that followed inmates for 20 years after they had been released, found that 94% were rearrested. As time progresses, recidivism rates may increase.

It is this type of data that has created the need for stricter hiring criteria, especially for individuals who work as caregivers. Many companies, until now, have allowed newly-hired employees to begin work pending their background check results. No longer. Employees must pass a nationwide background check before they can begin working. And exemptions, which were once commonplace, must be approved by top state officials.

News reports of children and the elderly have listed crimes such as rape, beatings, theft, and even murder. And, although no one can ever entirely predict an individual’s safety, thorough background checks and the conscientious application of strict policies regarding who can work with vulnerable populations and who cannot is key to protecting those our caregivers are enlisted to serve. Employers who are entrusted with the care of others must apply such policies without fail.

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AccuScreen CEO Hosts August 25 Webinar Defining Employee Screening Rights Mon, 23 Aug 2010 05:53:07 +0000 Stephanie

Kevin Connell, AccuScreen CEO and proponent of employer hiring rights, will unravel misleading quotes in a recent Associated Press article and clarify employers’ hiring rights in regard to pre-employment background checks.

TAMPA FL / August 23 2010 — Alarmed by the widely published Associated Press article from August 11th with the headline, “Some Job-Screening Tactics Challenged as Illegal,” AccuScreen has mounted a public response to counter statements that company leaders believe could misinform employers about their hiring rights.

In a webinar to be held Wednesday August 25 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST, Connell will unravel misleading facts in the article and explain employers’ hiring rights in regard to conducting a criminal background check and verifying the truthfulness of an applicant’s resume or job application.

Connell, the CEO of employment screening services company AccuScreen and outspoken proponent of employer hiring rights, believes the article is misleading and may have the effect of needlessly scaring employers about taking necessary steps to protect their companies.

“The article says that ‘companies using criminal records or bad credit reports to screen out job applicants might run afoul of anti-discrimination laws as the government steps up scrutiny of hiring policies that can hurt blacks and Hispanics’ — that is just ridiculous,” said Connell. “Employers have the right to ensure that they are hiring employees that will not jeopardize their company.”

The one-hour webinar, “Employee Screening Rights: 3 Must-Know Rules to Avoid the Wrath of the EEOC”, hosted by Connell, will explain:

· Employer’s rights in regard to running background checks on employees or job candidates
· The top 7 resume lies and how to spot them

Those interested in attending the free webinar can register online at: Webinar

“Employers cannot be made afraid to run a background check on applicants in order to protect their company, their employees, and their customers. In fact, laws have been passed making it mandatory to do criminal background checks in such industries as healthcare and daycare,” Connell said.

Those who cannot attend the webinar are encouraged to register for the event; a complimentary white paper, ‘Screening Job Applicants Without Discriminating,’ will be made available to all webinar registrants.

According to Connell, background checks can actually protect employers from being sued if an employee states he or she was fired or not hired because of illegal discrimination. “If the selection procedure has a disparate impact based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, can the employer show that the selection procedure is job-related and consistent with business necessity? An employer can meet this standard by showing that it is necessary to the safe and efficient performance of the job.” These guidelines, says Connell, comes directly from the EEOC.

Kevin Connell is available for comment on this subject. For interview inquiries, contact Sue Marriott at 1.800.689.2228 ext # 1100 or

About Kevin Connell:
Kevin G. Connell is a renowned professional background screening expert. He is recognized for his expertise on employment background screening, criminal record checks, workplace fraud, embezzlement, employee theft, resume fraud and negligent hiring in the workplace. Connell has spoken at numerous business, security & human resources conferences, including twice providing testimony before the Florida Supreme Court. He is widely quoted, has had several articles published in magazines, has been featured on television, including ABC-TV “Money Matters,” the Fox News Channel and has been interviewed on more than 126 live talk radio programs. Connell is a former founding Director of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS); he served on the board from 2003-2005.

About AccuScreen:
Since 1994, has been an industry pioneer, leader and expert in employment background screening, specializing in criminal background checks. Its reports are delivered to companies across the world in 2-72 hours.

Media Contact
Sue Marriott
410 S. Ware Blvd. Suite 607
Tampa, FL 33619
1.800.689.2228 ext # 1100

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AccuScreen Webinar – “Smoke, Mirrors, and Fake Credentials” Thu, 19 Aug 2010 18:03:01 +0000 Stephanie

The Economic Crisis that began in December 2007 has brought forth record levels of employee fraud, information and property theft, as well as a spike in overall fraud schemes. This problem has been compounded by easy access to fake credentials. Accordingly, Kevin Connell has organized a “Complimentary Webinar” for HR Managers, Business Owners and CEO’s of companies across North America to discuss the problem and more importantly, point out potential solutions. This Friday August 20th @ 2:00 PM EST (11:00 Pacific), we will address the issues of employment background checks; resume fraud, diploma mills and fake credentials.

Your host is Kevin Connell, CEO & Founder of, a renowned professional background screening expert, who is recognized for his expertise on negligent hiring, embezzlement, employee theft, and resume fraud. Kevin’s gust on August 20 is, Barry Nixon, Executive Director of the National Institute for Prevention of Workplace Violence, Inc., a company focused on assisting organizations to effectively implement programs to prevent workplace violence. Mr. Nixon has 20 years experience in Human Resources and Organization Development in Fortune 500 companies. He is well grounded in the real issues companies face and develops practical solutions based on his real life experiences.

Kevin and Barry will be addressing not only why employee fraud has been on the rise, but tackle the different types of fraud that are out there and what organizations can do to help prevent fraud. This promises to be a content packed and entertaining webinar.

You will not want to miss this special “one time only” webinar. Register for this free webinar at: ]]> 1 Resignation Drama: The Steven Slater Syndrome Wed, 18 Aug 2010 04:27:43 +0000 Stephanie

For several days, the media has reported constantly on the situation of Steven Slater, the flight attendant that dramatically quit his job as a JetBlue flight attendant. The public eagerly devoured the reports, quickly dividing into two camps: one that applauded Slater’s actions, and the other believing that, no matter what, Slater should have exercised professionalism.

The Take This Job and Shove It Mentality
Slater has turned into a sort of folk hero, acting as a poster child for anyone who wishes he or she could grab a couple of beers and slide down a shoot toward the unemployment line. Sounds like a great Steve Carell movie (star of the “Office”), but, in reality, it’s just not that easy.

What most people don’t realize is that the Steven Slater’s of the world are generally not first-time offenders. Slater’s actions have been highly publicized, almost romanticized to the point of rendering him the next Robin Hood, but, it turns out this isn’t the first time this particular flight attendant has hit the tarmac. Far too often, it isn’t until something of this extreme has happened that a business really opens the books on the background of an employee.

Interestingly, most accounts on JetBlue Flight 1052 indicate that Slater was intoxicated, belligerent, and combative even before he encountered the passenger he claims caused him to ruin his career. One passenger even called him “petulant.” Slater is now being represented by a legal eagle who promotes the Sgt. Schultz defense. In other words, don’t tell the truth, don’t say anything at all if you can avoid it; just name, rank, and serial number.

Background Checks
But, could a background check have prevented the events of August 9, 2010. Slater obviously had issues that may have prevented his hiring, or, at least his continued employment with JetBlue. Several sources indicate that he has been a pot ready to boil over for quite some time. Other sources indicate that Slater has had a history of “diva” like behavior on the job, even before his tenure with JetBlue.

One thing is for sure; behavior that endangers any member of an organization, such as the way that Steven Slater endangered his fellow employees and the passengers of JetBlue by activating the emergency chute, should be cause for a ban on the future career aspirations of any individual who dares go that far. Slater’s actions went far beyond those of disgruntled employee, he literally risked the lives others. This unconscionable act, committed by an individual in a line of work where a cool head is always warranted, should serve as a lesson to employers who must ensure the safety of their customers and staff.

Ultimately, Steven Slater’s actions may qualify him as a participant in the next big thing in reality television shows, but is that the type of publicity you want for your business?

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