As difficult as it is these days to find a new career opportunity, it would be a real shame to be disqualified from consideration due to an unintended inaccuracy on your resume.
In the past, only larger corporations and governmental agencies utilized background checking services to vet potential new hires. Recently, many companies of all sizes have begun to utilize these services to verify information on the resumes of candidates under serious consideration.
We recently had a deal almost come undone at the last moment when the selected candidate’s degree could not be verified. While I have come across candidates who knowingly embelish their educational credentials, that was not the case here. The candidate believed they had earned a 4-year degree more than 20 years ago, but the background checking service could not verify that a degree had been earned. After many calls to the University in question, it turned out that the candidate did earn all of the credits necessary to graduate, did actually take part in the graduation ceremony, but had neglected to complete a form the college required 20 years ago in order to be awarded the actual degree! The necessary paperwork was completed and the candidate in question was awarded the degree they had earned 20 years after the fact.
There is a lesson to be learned here: not only must you be truthful about your terms of employment and the titles you have held and your eductional credentials, you should consider taking some time to verify the information on your own resume. Spend half of a day contacting the Human Resources departments of your past employers to ensure their records match your employment presentation and be sure to also verify your degree at the University you attended. This time well spent could ensure an offer will be extended and save you much embarrassment.