Many employers perform background checks as part of their hiring process. This involves the collection and inspection of public and private records. Examples include work authorization, employment history, education history, criminal records, credit history, social media profiles, and driving records. This helps the employer ensure they are hiring the right candidate and keeping their workforce safe.
Find out what employers look for in an employment background check and how you can prepare for yours.
Which Information Is Looked for in a Background Check?
Background checks commonly are performed to verify a potential employee’s identity, employment history, and any criminal activity. The chosen records typically depend on the employer’s needs, the nature of the job, and its location. For instance, you are likely to have a background check conducted for a role that includes handling finances, property, or confidential information.
How Can You Prepare for a Background Check?
You can get ready for your background check in the following ways:
- Have records of your academic history and past employment. This may include paper or digital copies of your academic transcripts, certificates, diplomas, or licensing. Also, keep pay stubs, W2s, and other records that show the companies you worked for. Have accessible the contact information for your past employers and professional references as well.
- Get copies of the records the employer wants to see. This lets you know what they may find out about you. You also can correct any errors you may find. Plus, if the employer has a concern with the information they uncover, you can discuss it honestly. This is especially important if something comes up with your criminal background check.
- Clean up your social media profiles. Delete any photos, videos, or posts you do not want an employer to see. You want to portray a professional image that would represent a company well.
- Let your professional references know they may be contacted. The employer might want to verify your work history with former managers, colleagues, or coworkers. This may include verification of the dates worked and positions held.
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