News, Culture & Society

Don’t Let an Employment Background Check Kill Your Dream Job

So, you’ve got a killer job interview coming up. With everything that’s been going on, you really need this new job and you know that you can impress at the interview with your social skills. You’re confident in your skills set and you know you’ll be an asset to your prospective employers.

There’s just one thing that could stand in your way – the employment background check. Even if you’ve got nothing to hide, it still makes you nervous. Let’s check out what an employment check means and how to ensure you’re prepared for it.

What is a Background Check?

A background check is a procedure used by a person or corporation to ensure that someone is who they say they are. Background checks allow you to check a person’s criminal record, education, employment history, and other past activities to ensure that they are accurate.

You may be required to undergo a background check while applying for a job, looking for a new apartment, or purchasing a handgun. Still, you’re able to see that background checks exist for a wide range of things, but they’re essentially looking to make sure of the same things, in most cases.

Employment Background Checks Explained

A background check for employment is usually done when someone applies for a job, but it can also be done at any time the employer thinks essential. To assist in maintaining a safe and secure workplace, a company may mandate annual or semi-annual employment drug tests or criminal background checks for its employees.

The employer will need the candidate’s full name, date of birth, Social Security number (SSN), current or previous address, as well as the candidate’s willingness to do the background check. A job background check usually includes information and records from the previous seven years, however, some jurisdictions allow up to ten.

A person’s job history, education, credit history, motor vehicle records (MVRs), criminal record, medical history, use of social media, and drug screening can all be part of an employment background check.

Your Employment History

You must be absolutely honest on your job application, avoiding even the tiniest lie on a CV, otherwise, the findings of a background check may hurt you.

Stretching employment dates to cover gaps is one of the most typical white lies. If you can’t recall the specific dates, you should do some research rather than speculate.

When writing dates on your resume, make sure to use the mm/yyyy format, as this is what an application tracking system (ATS) scan will search for. A company that conducts a background check on you can learn about your employment dates, the titles of the roles you’ve held, and why you left previous jobs.

Your Driving History and Records

If you’re required to drive for business, your employer is responsible for you. As a result, if driving is one of the responsibilities, they will check your driving record. They want to make sure you have a clean driving record so they know you’ll be safe behind the wheel of one of their automobiles. Furthermore, an employee with a bad driving record might have a detrimental impact on the company’s insurance premiums.

Do You Have a Criminal Record?

Some states prohibit questions concerning arrests or convictions after a specified period of time, usually ten years. Many states only allow criminal records to be considered for specified employment (such as jobs in the financial sector or working with children). Because a criminal record can affect your job hunt, it’s important to understand the rules in your state.

Drug Testing

It is entirely up to the company’s choice whether or not a drug test is included in pre-employment screening. Most employers in the United States are not forced by law to conduct drug tests. In fact, many states and municipal governments restrict or prohibit workplace testing in this area, with the exception of jobs that are mandated to undergo testing by federal or state legislation.

You might be thinking about marijuana if you’re curious about whether background checks include drug tests. Seven states, including the District of Columbia, have allowed recreational marijuana usage. Only seven states have no legalization laws at all, with a large number of states that allow medicinal or limited-medicinal use.

Social Media Background Checks

The act of evaluating a job candidate’s social media profiles in order to learn more about them is known as a social media background check. It’s essentially a background check conducted using publicly available information obtained through widely-used social media networks. Social media background checks, on the other hand, can be illegal if they are conducted without consideration for compliance norms.

How to Check My Online Reputation?

You want to make sure that nothing can hamper your chances of getting that new job so you’re probably wondering “Can I do a background check on myself?”

The answer is yes! There are various ways to check up on your online reputation to ensure that nothing compromises your chances of employment.

First Port of Call – Google

A Google search is the starting point for all excellent online reputation management. Googling yourself needs to be done properly. Make use of every available search engine, including person searches, social network searches, and forum searches, to see what’s being said about you online – whether it’s favorable or not.

Google Alerts allows you to track search terms (e.g. your name) and to be alerted as soon as a new search appears with this term.

Check Up on Your Social Media and Blogging Presence

You should also use social media accounts, blogs, or forums which make sure you don’t have any incriminating posts or photos you’ve forgotten. Check your friends’, family members’, and significant others’ social media accounts, blogs, and forum posts to ensure you won’t be caught off guard by someone who doesn’t take your online reputation as seriously as you do.

Make a point of checking the privacy settings on your social media accounts too. So that only your friends or followers can see your previous posts, images, and media.