A good resume is everything in the job market.
But no matter how senior you are, the chances of securing a job are probably extremely low if a resume shows that a candidate has worked at 38 different companies over the span of 4 years.
That’s not even ‘good’ anymore. That’s ‘highly suspicious’.
Think that’s impossible?
Think Adidas: Impossible is nothing.
Meet Mr Chin
Yesterday, 5 March 2019, Chin Ming Lik was sentenced to 2 years and 11 months jail for using fake qualifications to get jobs at not 1, not 2 but 38 different companies.
The 49-year-old faked a series of documents including a First Class Honours degree in civil engineering from the National University of Singapore (NUS), certificates from the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore Polytechnic and a GCE A-level certificate.
His actual highest qualification is the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE).
Using these various faked certificates, Chin got himself civil engineering jobs at 38 different companies between 2013 and 2017.
Moving faster than the cars in Fast and Furious, Chin went from one company to the next in quick succession to avoid detection. Using this method, he managed to earn up to $9,000 a month.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Pei Wei said that Chin came up with the idea after hearing that project managers in the civil engineering field could earn quite a lot.
Beyond just forging the relevant certificates, Chin also lied on his resume that he had 16 years of experience in the field including in construction companies.
Just two weeks before his arrest, Chin was offered a job as project manager with CHL Construction which he applied for using the forged certificates. He turned the job down, saying that their offer of $7,500 per month was too low.
Oh. Apparently, beggars can be choosers after all.
How He Did It
Chin managed to make his fake certificates by photocopying other people’s certs that he found at other jobs.
He would put pieces of paper with his own information over the relevant fields and photocopy them to make them look like they were his original ones.
He also made a statutory declaration, saying he lost the original copies of the certs when he moved house, in order to explain why he couldn’t produce them when employers asked.
Maybe he should just attend a SkillsFuture course on Photoshop #justsaying
But of course this leads to the question we’re dying to ask: How did he get caught?
A Company Sent Degree to Verify
I asked my boss if he did send any of our qualifications to verify and his answer was simple: “Usually, your attitude determine your qualifications.”
Wise words from a stupid person, but what he says makes sense: most companies wouldn’t do that.
But a company did.
On 2 December 2016, an assistant manager at the NUS Registrar Office received Chin’s NUS degree scroll for verification.
The scroll did not match any of the records in the university’s database. Suspecting that the scroll could have been forged in order to gain employment unlawfully, the assistant manager made a police report.
Chin was placed on a police stop list and was arrested at Woodlands Checkpoint on 23 April 2017.
Forging multiple documents isn’t the only thing Chin is guilty of.
When he was arrested at Woodlands Checkpoint, he did not have a valid driving license. He only had a provisional driving license (PDL) – a license for people who are learning how to drive.
Despite having been disqualified from driving since 1992, Chin admitted to driving 4 different cars without a valid license over the past 10 years.
He was in the process of obtaining his license when he got caught.
In September 2017, when he was out on bail for the forgery, he committed shop theft at a FairPrice in Bedok North.
Chin had previously been sentenced to corrective training. However, as the training had no effect on him, District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan gave him the jail term in order to deter him from future offences.
Chin has been said to be deeply remorseful about his actions since he is the sole breadwinner of his family.
But How Can An Adult Get Legit Certs, Then?
No matter what stage of life we are in, sometimes, we just need to upgrade ourselves by getting further qualifications
However, there’s no need to do it in an illegal way like Chin.
Here are 2 ways you can upgrade your skills as an adult in Singapore
Workforce Singapore and Skills Future SG
Skillsfuture Singapore is a statutory board under the Ministry of Education (MOE) that promotes lifelong learning among Singaporeans.
Using Skillsfuture credits, Singaporeans can sign up for local training or online courses for a range of topics including 3D printing, wed design and accounting. As of January 2016, all Singaporeans aged 25 and above will receive an opening credit of S$500. This credit will not expire and the government will provide periodic top-ups, so that you can accumulate your credit.
Many organisations offer online courses that you can attend over a wide range of topics from coding to painting to business development.
Skillsfuture credits can be used for Udemy and Coursera. Other online course platforms include Skillshare and Teachable.
But like what a fat old man once said, “Your attitude determine your qualifications.”
So just have the right attitude and the money will come.
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