I-Link dishonesty may lead to consequences

This semester, the Career Center is aiding graduating seniors in securing full-time employment, as well as helping freshmen, sophomores and juniors build their resumes and find summer internships.

Career services provide students access to the job-posting database I-Link. Companies who are specifically looking for University students post job opportunities and internships. However, there has been a number of dishonest students who have not respected this privilege and changed their majors on their profiles or inflated their GPAs.

Katie Kennealy, associate director of the Career Center, said this unethical behavior may cause problems between the University and companies they already have an established relationship with.

“If they are witnessing or identifying students intentionally falsifying their information, they can be led to believe that this is acceptable behavior for all of our students, which it most certainly is not,” Kennealy said. “We do not want a select few students to reflect poorly on the whole student population and in turn damage our relationship with that organization.”

To prevent similar instances, the University now locks down students’ majors, minors and GPAs when their profiles are first created. If a student wishes to change their profile, they must contact career services.

“Intentional falsification of your I-Link profile will result in deactivation of your I-Link account and may result in student disciplinary action. Flagrant and intentional misrepresentation of academic information within I-Link, on your resume, or other application materials is serious, and in the past has resulted in dismissal from the University,” according to an email sent to I-Link users.

All I–Link users are required to sign an agreement prior to using the database. Pnina Steiner, senior director in Business Career Services, said that the College of Business has an additional student participation agreement states that students must provide accurate information when compiling a professional profile.

Jennifer Neef, director of Career Services in the College of ACES, said integrity is an important characteristic companies want in an employee.

“If a student is willing to be dishonest on their resume or in their I-Link profile, then it is an indication of their level of integrity,” she said.

To monitor student transgressions, Neef said she does random spot checks for the I-Link profiles in the College of ACES where she compares it to the students’ records.

“When those cases happen, I contact the students … and at that point it is a conversation to ensure that the students are being forthright,” she said.

Neef added that the consequences vary depending on the severity of the circumstance and whether they have accepted a job offer based on their dishonesty.

Steiner said if students are called back for job interviews by changing their profiles, other students are affected.

“They are actually hurting their fellow students because the spot was taken from them,” Steiner said.

If a student chooses to lie on their I-Link profiles, job offers may be rescinded if their dishonesty is discovered by an employer.

“Every organization that I know of wants to hire honest people,” Neef said.

Steiner said students who get a job by misrepresenting themselves will be caught eventually.

“They are not going to perform as well as they presented themselves originally,” she said.