5 Things Job Seekers Need to Know About Employment Background Checks

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Oct 9, 2018

Oct 9, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

More than two-thirds of employers run criminal and employment background checks on job applicants.

If you're a job seeker, it's likely that you'll be subject to one of these procedures are some point. If you know what information they're looking for, it's not as daunting as it may seem.

In this post, we'll tell you.

How Employment Background Checks Work

Worried about your background check? You needn't be. Here's why.

1. They Include Your Driving Records

When employers run background checks for jobs, the main thing they're looking for is a criminal record. However, that's not all.

They're also going to take a look at your driving records. This means that any small driving infractions speeding tickets or car accidents you've had will show up.

Don't worry, this shouldn't cause a problem. Unless, of course, you're applying for a job that involves driving.

On the other hand, a DUI could be problematic for your application.

2. Employers Need Your Permission

A prospective employer can't run a background check on you without asking you first. They need to get your permission. Usually, this is in the form of written consent.

You can choose to not consent to the background check if you wish. However, if you do, it may jeopardize your application. This is because the company has the right to refuse to hire you.

3. They Mainly Want to Check Your Identity

The main reason for a background check is to confirm that you are who you say you are.

Employers want to make sure that you've represented yourself truthfully, and that all of your certifications and credentials are genuine.

4. A Criminal Record Doesn't Always Kill Your Application

Applicants with criminal records often worry that background checks will stop them from getting employed. While a record can make it difficult to find a suitable job, this isn't always the case.

Generally, most employers are only concerned about offenses that are related to their business. For example, an entry on the sex offenders register will stop a candidate from getting a job in education or childcare. The nature of the crime, as well as when it happened, will be taken into consideration before a decision is made.

For more information, see our tips for job hunting with a criminal record.

5. They Check Your Past Work Experience

In many cases, employers run background checks solely for the purpose of verifying applicants' employment history.

They do this by looking into their previous work experience and confirming all of the references they've given. This ensures that none of the information has been falsified and that the candidate has the skills and experience that they claim to have.

See Your Record

An employment background check is a routine part of the employment process. If you're worried about something coming up, you can take control by running your own check on yourself first.

There are plenty of companies that offer services to check your references, criminal background, credit record and employment history. You can use one of these to find out what your record looks like and address any issues that come up.

That way, you can take control of your application and make it stand out.