The ability for a blockchain to ensure the legitimacy of someone’s credentials has long been a theorized use case for the technology, which could be great news for those job searching. Largely, this ties to the idea that blockchain technology is granting value to digital assets and qualifications that were previously easy to duplicate and difficult to quantify.

The need for secure, digitized resumes

As it stands today, there are many limitations to the ways in which prospective employees and employers interact. This is especially the case with résumés, where it can be difficult or otherwise ineffective to validate someone’s credentials.

This, unfortunately, permits employees forging their qualifications or otherwise lying about details such as previous work experience and/or education history.

Further, comparing educational qualifications between international borders is made difficult in current systems, which are yet to be digitized on a significant global scale.

Blockchain technology’s anti-tampering measures

Blockchain technology essentially serves as a public record of chronological transactions. In this system, it is extremely easy for the public to observe tampering or fraud, as all records can be verified against one another.

Further, internal systems make use of network-connected devices in order to verify transactions. This means that instead of having to breach a central system, malicious actors are instead given the extremely difficult task of attempting to breach every device in the network.

The result is a system that is theoretically safe from many, if not most, forms of information tampering.

Granting digital value and identifying duplicates

The fact that blockchain technology could be used as a public record has several potential ramifications when it comes to electronic files. In the world today, there is little-to-nothing stopping someone from duplicating or copying a digital file or record.

With the emergence of blockchain technology, however, users are becoming increasingly able to track the original creator of a document.

This has many benefits when it comes to résumés, degrees, or other important qualifications. In a system that uses blockchain technology to digitize these records, it would be possible for employees to readily observe if the document had been modified since its original issuance on the blockchain.

Global access – overcoming borders for job searching

Currently, borders can prove a significant obstacle when it comes to quantifying someone’s achievements or academic merit. Countries across the world use different academic scoring systems and metrics, making it difficult to compare the achievements of two individuals from different parts of the globe.

Further, contacting a previous employer of a potential hire can prove difficult when said employer is located overseas.

Advocates believe that blockchain technology can help mitigate these issues as well, through establishing a global framework for qualifications and a system that can ensure references are legitimate without two employers having to speak directly.

Blockchain is beginning to support résumés in the real world

While the impact of this emerging technology is still being fully realized, several projects in the world today have begun trialing blockchain technology to validate the academic and workplace credentials of users.

One example is with World Education Services (WES), which announced in May 2018 that it is attempting to issue blockchain-based digital badges as a way of recognizing the international qualifications of clients. This plays into the non-profit organization’s goals of creating a better system of verifying qualifications in both Canada and the U.S., and serves to illustrate the technology is being trialed today.

Another example is with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which launched the Digital Diploma Pilot Program in 2017. As part of this program, 111 graduates were offered the option to receive a digital copy of their diploma alongside the physical copy.

The pilot leveraged blockchain technology and was the result of a partnership between the MIT Registrar’s Office and Massachusetts-based software development company, Learning Machine.

Through an app called Blockcerts Wallet, students were given the option to get a “verifiable, tamper proof version of their diploma that they can share with employers, schools, family, and friends.”

“From the beginning, one of our primary motivations has been to empower students to be the curators of their own credentials,” said Registrar and Senior Associate Dean, Mary Callahan, at the time in a MIT News story. “This pilot makes it possible for them to have ownership of their records and be able to share them in a secure way, with whomever they choose.”

The Internet of Value and new frameworks for digital property

Zooming out, cryptocollectibles are broader example of how blockchain technology is serving to create digitized, tamper-proof items. As with blockchain-based résumés, digital collectibles are able to hold value since they cannot be forged or duplicated.

Largely, this concept is thought of by proponents like Don Tapscott of the Toronto-based Blockchain Research Institute as the Internet of Value. Tapscott and his contemporaries praise blockchain technology’s ability to grant value to digital assets, likening it to a ‘second internet’ of sorts.

Ultimately, while it might not be yet time to shred your resume, the idea of blockchain technology stepping in to eliminate qualification fraud is seeming like an increasingly likely reality.

 

Image Credit: Pixabay

 

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