You are perfect for the job, you meet all the requirements, and your work history aligns perfectly with the job description. You are ready to nail the interview and start your dream career. However, have you anticipated the background check your employer will most likely run on you? Having someone look into your past in an attempt to find mistakes you may have made is nerve-racking, and it’s important you know the information that may come up. In today’s digital age, it is never a bad idea to run a background check on yourself to discover what a potential employer may uncover.
Helps you Anticipate Questions
Even if you have nothing to hide, running a background check on yourself will give you an idea of the information available about you. You will have an idea of potential questions your interviewer may ask, such as your history at a particular job or your experience living in a specific location. It can also help you identify some red flags before your interview. For instance, if you are trying to get a job in finance but your credit history is less than ideal, you need to have an explanation for why you are still qualified to work in finance. If you are trying to work in transportation, particularly with children, you need to see if your driving history reflects that of a responsible driver.
While criminal charges drop off your record after seven years or so depending on the state, arrests stay on your permanent record. If you were a bit reckless in your younger days, it is worth it to see what your potential employer will see so you can prepare an explanation. The outcome of the arrest will not show up, so even if all charges were dropped or if it was a legitimate mistake, you have to be prepared to explain this to your potential employer. Even better, if you run your background check long before you start the hiring process, you may be able to have the information expunged.
Human error happens every day, and if you have a relatively common name, it is worth it to ensure all of the information on a background check is accurate. There is no central database for everyone’s history, such as their criminal history, driving records or educational background. Instead, employers often use services that pull from different county courts as well as state and federal databases. With information coming from so many various sources, there is a good chance your data could get mixed up with another individual with your same name.
A potential employer is required to notify you if the reason they passed over you for the job was because of the information they uncovered on your background check. This notification allows you to dispute the findings and clear your name if something is inaccurate. However, interviews for your dream position will not stop, and the likelihood that they will find the right candidate while you desperately uncover the correct information is high. If you can go into the hiring process with the knowledge of inaccurate information, you can resolve the issues before you step into the interview. Also, showing up with knowledge on the information that comes up on your background check shows employees you did your due diligence and are committed to the position.
Always have Access to Information
Even if you are not on the job hunt, it can be beneficial to run a background check and save the information as a digital file. This way, you always have instant access to information about yourself. If you are going to apply for an apartment or are fighting a legal battle in court, having your information on hand is an excellent way for you to save yourself and everyone involved time and money. You will know if you meet the credit requirement to rent a particular apartment or will be able to dispute false claims made about you with verified information.
In today’s digital age, it never hurts to understand how you look on paper to a potential employer or landlord to increase your chances of landing that dream job or apartment. Be prepared and protect yourself by running a background check on yourself before it’s too late!