What Kind of Info Shows up on a Background Check?

A background check involves collecting and evaluating public and private record data from one’s criminal history (city, county, state, federal), employment history, credit history, work authorization, social media profiles, education history, driving history, and sometimes medical records. A large variety of screenings is available. The legislative framework is complex as states have different background check laws. Hiring managers might choose different options depending on their needs, workplace location, and the type of job one is applying for. More details about background checks are available at Unmask.com.

What Your Future Employer Will See

Most commonly, pre-employment screenings are carried out to verify identity, employment history, and the absence of criminal history. The respective percentages for each are 67%, 72%, and 84%. Among the less frequent types of checks are education verification and driving history (49%), checks to verify one’s professional qualification (42%), and financial history (28%). It is an established policy to request a screening report following a conditional job offer in some industries.

Preparing for a Screening

Now that you know your future (hopefully) employer will look into your past, you can prepare for this important step effectively. You can start by cleaning up your online footprint. Check social media privacy settings and remove questionable posts. More and more recruiters and hiring managers are looking at job applicants’ social network profiles today. You might not want a potential employer to see some of the information on yours. If that’s the case, curate your content by hiding or deleting parts. By making your accounts private, you will manage what others have access to.

Obtain Your Record Copies

The surest way to see what info will show up on the check is by getting copies of your records. You can ask for this information from certain financial service businesses, which will show you your credit score for free. Your state’s MVD will issue you a copy of your driving record. If you have a criminal record, get in touch with the Department of Public Safety in your state to get access to it. The U.S. Department of Transportation and other government agencies can assist job seekers and employers in investigating driving and criminal records.

Run a Self-Check

Background check services recommend running a full self-check before you begin looking for a job. This lets you see errors and have them eliminated in advance. Keep in mind these reports are not free of charge.

Keep Good Employment and Academic Records

You should always have both digital and paper copies of your academic diplomas and transcripts. Under the Family Right to Privacy Act, job applicants must give their schools and colleges consent to have their records released to third parties.

Don’t throw out old pay stubs because these are evidence you worked somewhere. Have any references and previous employers’ contact details at hand so you fill job applications out accurately. The persons you’ve given as references should be informed that they may be contacted. Usually, all your prospective employer will ask them is to confirm that you worked for them when you say you did and what your job position or title was. 

Don’t Lie

Lying to a prospective employer is not worth the risk. Be prepared to discuss any concerning findings after the background check has been completed. Be honest if you are specifically asked about your credit, education, employment history, or anything else pertinent to your application. A hiring manager is more likely to listen and accept your point of view if you address things about your past while ensuring them you are the right fit for the position.

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