Finding a job is no easy task—it takes time. You searched for a job, applied, went through multiple interviews, and finally, you got an offer—sweet! But before you can start your new job, you have to jump through one more hoop: the background check for employment.
Employers conduct background checks (also called background screenings and pre-employment screenings) either internally, or they hire background check companies, to ensure you’re a top-quality candidate. Depending on an employer’s criteria, a background check may investigate a candidate’s criminal records, education, employment history, credit history, motor vehicle and license records, and/or civil records. Here are six reasons that you might be rejected for a job based on a background check.
- You Have an Extensive Criminal History
The simple existence of a criminal conviction on your record doesn’t necessarily mean you will be disqualified from employment consideration. Most employers won’t look at misdemeanor offenses or older convictions as deal breakers, Violent criminals, sex offenders, notorious repeat offenders, or embezzlers are just a few of the groups that will repeatedly lose job offers due to criminal history background checks.
- You Lied On Your Resume
Maybe you claimed a college degree that you don’t really have, or perhaps you lied about a previous job title or hire date. Between background checks and employment or educational verification checks, an employer has a good chance of finding out if you lied on your resume. And if you did, even if the fib was minor and seemingly inconsequential to you, it can still cost you a job opportunity. After all, what boss wants to hire a person they know is willing to lie to them?
- Your Credit History is Poor
Not all employers will look into your credit history. For jobs that involve the handling of money or finances, though, you might find yourself approving a credit history check. Quite simply, your prospective employer wants to know how you have handled your own finances in the past. And in such situations, substantial amounts of debt or evident money issues can mark you as someone who is not responsible enough for the job at hand.
- Your Driving Record Revealed Issues
Driving records are not something that every employer is going to look at but If you are going to be operating a vehicle as part of your job, then a driving history check should and will be a part of the applicant screening process. A speeding ticket or two shouldn’t hurt you, but if you’ve been charged with reckless driving or with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, then you’ll be out of the applicant pool as quickly as the hiring manager can shred your application.
- A Previous Employer Gave you a Bad Review
As part of a background check, hiring managers won’t just call the references you’ve listed to speak on your behalf, but they’ll also probably try to speak with your former bosses in order to gain a better understanding of how you operate on a day-to-day basis. Due to libel claims and other similar issues, some former employers won’t be willing to speak about you beyond confirming job titles, hiring dates, and salaries. However, if you left a job on bad terms or frequently had clashes with your boss, there’s a chance that information could come out during the pre-employment screening process, and it might just alter your hiring chances.
- Your Background Check Pulled Up Incorrect Information
Sometimes, you can do everything right and still have your employment chances derailed by a background check. How come? Because ultimately, not every background check is going to be 100% accurate. For instance, a criminal conviction might have been filed on your record from a felon who shares your name. Or perhaps you’re a victim of identity theft, and that fact has left your credit in ruins. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to do a test background check on yourself before heading into the interview. If you find any incorrect information, you can contact the appropriate courts or departments to get everything fixed and put in proper order.
- You Have an Extensive Criminal History
Also, remember that if you do lose a job opportunity because of a background check, you have a right to know why. The employer needs to provide you with a written explanation for the decision, and you are legally permitted to request a free copy of the background check report that cost you the job. If the report was inaccurate, you can dispute the findings and get your name cleared so that you have a better shot at getting the job next time around.