Home / Background Checks / What Is In A Background Check?


So you applied for an amazing job opportunity and actually landed an interview. You attended then interview and as you were about to leave the employer casually says to you that you’ll have to sign “here, here and here please” for that ever important part of the recruitment process called Background Checking.

You walk out of the building and suddenly you start to panic. The sweat drips down your neck as you stress about what they are going to be looking at and what they will be able to do with the information in their findings.

If like many members of the public you aren’t 100% sure of exactly what gets checked and why during the Background Checking part of applying for a job, or even a personal background check then read this to get an idea of what will be included in the report.

Why are background reports necessary?

Employers have to verify that prospective employees are telling the truth about who they are and the experiences they have ad before they can consider you for the position and make an informed decision about whether or not you fit the role.

Details included in a background check report:

  • Criminal Records – Depending on the state you live in, employers can get reports on criminal records dating back 7 years and sometimes even more. This is one of the firs checks that are done so if you know of any criminal offense that has your name tied to it, it’s best to disclose that information along with an explanation to the employer beforehand.
  • Credit Check – Only a fraction of companies out there check the credit status of prospective employees but they might want to make sure that you don’t have a bad credit reputation especially if the hob you are applying for will have you working with finances.
  • Education Verification – Please don’t try and lie about any educational awards. There will most certainly be someone who will check in on what you claim to have achieved in school and university.
  • Reference Checks – Your ex-boss will almost certainly be phoned up and if you had a bad relationship when you left your previous employment, they are sure to find out. There’s nothing stopping your previous employer from disclosing the nature of your performance, level of professionalism and your relationship with other colleagues.
  • Bankruptcy – This forms part of the public records, but may not be used as a ground for not employing someone. Also, bankruptcy after 10 years may not be listed as part of the report.
  • Driving Records – If you’ve ever had your license suspended then the employer will find out about it and yes, it might cause you not to get the job, especially if you are applying for a position where you’ll be driving a company car.
  • Drug testing – Yes it’s legal and an employer can ask you to undergo a drug test as part of the pre-employment requirements. If you are using any prescription meds that will show up there, you should advise them about it beforehand.

You should be aware of the fact that medical tests are definitely not part of the background check routine.

If an employer wishes to has your heath evaluated he has to have valid and legal reasons for wanting to do so, still needs your consent to do it and has no grounds whatsoever for discriminating against you if you do not wish to have medical tests run on you for pre-employment purposes.

More and more companies are making background checking and verification a normal part of their recruitment process these days and it’s unlikely that you’ll find a medium size company who won’t require you to consent to having a report run on yourself.

Now that you know exactly what will be included in the report you can make sure that all the information that you have provided in your resume s true, accurate and can be verified.


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