What comes up on a background check? 2020
Stay home and do your keyword research.
Speaking as an employee of a prominent background screening firm, I can tell you most employers, as a general rule, are simply verifying the information you have provided to them on your resume, CV, and/or application. This can include your past employment, your education, any certifications you've earned, and criminal history.
Certain types of jobs will require much more in-depth screening. This may include checking sex offender/predator databases, pulling your credit history, pulling your driving records, and checking for business and other licenses, among other things.
Most employers require some type of drug screening, again depending on the type of job. This can range from the standard 5 drug pee-in-a-cup test to a 15 drug screen hair follicle test. Jobs involving dangerous situations--long haul driving, armed security, handling large sums of money, etc.--will typically require more detailed testing.
Again, the average employer hiring for an average job will just require the basics. Here are some suggestions which may help you:
Do not lie or stretch the truth on your resume, CV, and/or application. Just don't. You will look stupid at best and undesirable at worst.
Explain any gaps in employment if you've had any in recent years.
If you have skeletons in your closet which you know may be detrimental or at least frowned upon, tell the interviewer/employer up front. Be honest, and give only the bare basics. Don't offer too much information, because, well, TMI. If you have a legal issue, whether criminal or civil, say so, but give the cleaned up, short version and let it be. Not being up front about this sort of thing means only one thing: the employer will have an unpleasant surprise which you will then have to explain. Explaining things after they spring up is lot more difficult than explaining before the background check (which isn't easy, I know).
Know your important dates and milestones. If you can't remember while filling out an application, get up and find the documentation. Provide as accurate information as possible. I am amazed every day by people who do not know when they graduated from high school/college/graduate school. Seriously? If I had earned a Master's Degree, I assure you that would be a date indelibly etched in my memory...and I tend to be forgetful. On the same note, you really should know what school you earned the diploma or degree from, don't you think? A recent example which made me think, "no way I'd hire you!" is the person who said on his application he earned his high school equivalency (GED) through the military while serving in 1983 but submitted a copy of a high school diploma from an actual high school (not a GED testing site) showing a graduation date of 1979. Hmmmm.
Know who writes/wrote your checks. If you say you worked at ABC Company but you were actually placed there by XYZ Staffing Agency, you look like an idiot. An idiot and/or a liar...because I will have to close that verification as not verified. When providing employment information, remember your employer is the company or individual whose name is on your paycheck. Simple. When in doubt, list both companies on the same line, ie: ABC Co./XYZ Staffing. That way, you're covered.
Provide valid work phone numbers. Don't put your BFF's cell phone or the direct line for that one manager who really liked you. We couldn't care less. We verify through authoritative sources, which means Payroll, Human Resources, or whomever has access to the employee records. We aren't looking for glowing tales of your office prowess. We want to confirm your position, dates of employment, and sometimes salary. Oh, and we may ask if you are eligible for rehire.
One more thing: if you worked for any type of chain restaurant, store, or fast food, please be specific about the location. Telling me you worked for McDonald's in Houston, Texas is not helpful. There are 50 - 100 McDonald's locations in the Houston area. I need details--phone number, street address, or, best of all, franchise company name. Throw me a bone, here, please!
To summarize, give honest and accurate information, and be cooperative if any questions arise during the screening. Doing so will make the entire process go smoothly and quickly. It will help eliminate issues which can cause something to be "not verified". Lastly, it will increase your desirability and may help you land the job.
What Comes Up On A Background Check? 2020
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