“Temptation to lie about your qualifications or results on your CV may be heightened,” said Ina van der Merwe, CEO of background screening company Managed Integrity Evaluation.
“If the company does conduct a background check and finds that your qualification is inaccurate or fraudulent, you will be discovered and may be found guilty of fraud. As a result, you may be investigated, charged and get a criminal record or face jail time for fraud,” according to Van der Merwe.
She said it was quickly becoming standard practice for businesses to screen prospective employees during the hiring process, which often included verifying SA matric and senior certificate qualifications.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Tuesday announced that 2015's national pass rate was 70.7%, which was 5.1% lower than 2014.
Many matriculants will be competing for jobs with recently graduated students as well as SA’s 5.4 million unemployed.
Van der Merwe advised matriculants and graduates to bear in mind that background screening could not be done without a job applicant’s consent.
“While the vetting process may be unfamiliar to those entering the workforce for the first time, refusing one may arouse suspicion. It is best to rather be honest about your results and qualifications. If you have nothing to hide, there is nothing to fear,” she said.
To help job seekers improve their chances of finding employment, Van der Merwe shared the following tips:
• Apply for suitable positions: Remember that not every job requires that you have a matric certificate, so make sure that you respond to vacancies that advertise this.
• Get experience: Many employers appreciate practical experience as valuable skills can be learnt in this way. Volunteering your time is one of the easiest ways of gaining experience.
• Obtain references: Be sure to include the names and contact details of teachers and employers who can provide personal character references.
• Be honest: Ensure that you are honest in your CV as well as in your interviews.
The Department of Social Development has opened counselling centres for matric pupils as well as their parents. The 24-hour toll-free line offers counselling support from professional social workers.
Call 0800 428 428 (toll-free) or send a Please Call Me to *120*7867#