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Former Google executive explains why he was disappointed to see Harvard graduates on job candidates' resumes

Former Google executive explains why he was disappointed to see Harvard graduates on job candidates' resumes


The post has been viewed more than 80,000 times and generated numerous comments.

Parminder Singh, a former managing director at Google and Twitter, recently took to X to slam people who claim to be graduates of Ivy League universities when they have not completed their undergraduate or graduate studies there. In a tweet, Parminder Singh said he was disappointed to see a candidate he was interviewing listed as a “Harvard graduate” on his resume. Upon further investigation, he found out the candidate had only completed a short course at Harvard. “I couldn't help but get the impression he was prone to exaggeration and had questionable credibility,” Singh wrote in the post.

The former Google MD said that this is not the first time he has come across such a situation or felt disappointment. “Being an alumnus of a top university means going through a rigorous selection process and spending a significant amount of time with people who have gone through a similar process. While paid short courses are a good addition to your CV, they alone will not qualify you as a Harvard alumnus,” he explained.

The candidate I interviewed said on his resume that he was a graduate of Harvard University. There was nothing else about his academic background. When I asked him what he studied at Harvard, he said, “A course on entrepreneurship.” When I asked how long the course lasted, he said it was four years.

— Parminder Singh (@parrysingh) June 14, 2024

Singh also used his own example as a warning to all job seekers. He said that he too had completed an executive education course at Kellogg. “I was clear that it was a short course and never intended to call myself a Kellogg graduate. Once, during an interview, someone mistook me for a Kellogg graduate. I have since removed it from my resume completely,” Singh wrote in the post.

“Employers value integrity above all else, and if you try to take this shortcut, you risk coming across as duplicitous. It's not worth it. Integrity is far more valuable than any Ivy League degree,” he concluded.

Singh shared the post last week, and since then it has been viewed more than 80,000 times and garnered numerous responses, with users in the comments section pointing out several examples of people claiming the “graduate” tag.

“It reminded me of the Ruskin Bond story where someone asked Uncle Ken if he went to Oxford or Cambridge. He said Cambridge but didn't say he'd been there to see his family,” one user wrote.

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“We see even CXOs from blue-chip companies taking up these crash courses and proudly listing themselves as graduates of Ivy League universities on LinkedIn. I don't know if HR people value integrity because whenever these CXOs join a new organization, their press releases state they are Harvard or INSEAD alumni,” posted another user.

“Integrity is the foundation of success in academia and beyond. Misrepresenting your qualifications, no matter how attractive, undermines the trust essential to professional growth. True achievement is found in honest, hard work and effort, not medals of honor,” a third user said.

“Thanks for pointing this out! As a recruitment professional, I encounter this issue daily! There's nothing wrong with clearly stating short courses in the qualifications/education section of your resume,” one user commented. “Institutions are very clear about whether you're eligible to call yourself a graduate or not. It's not a grey area,” another user said.

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