Can a background check make you lose a potential job?

Can a background check make you lose a potential job?

For many individuals, securing employment isn’t always the easiest task. With what seems like hundreds of people competing for a qualified position, it’s hard to stand apart from the rest. That’s why getting shortlisted for a job interview is a crucial step in landing your employment. After all, once you get your foot in the door, you at least stand a chance. However, with this pandemic situation upon us, a majority of interviews are taking place over Skype or Zoom. This means every candidate should know how to ace an online interview.

Once you’ve passed your interview, you’re looking at the background check. This key step can be a dealbreaker for most employers, especially if you’ve got a spotty past. While we’d like to think that our past can’t define us, it could be the very thing holding you back from getting that dream job you’ve always wanted. 

If you’re not certain about what your potential employers are finding in your report, it’s wise to use a background check site like Check People to confirm your details.

Here are some key areas employers are reviewing when pulling your information after the interview:

Employment and Education History

The first thing an employer is going to review is the accuracy of your employment history. Confirming whether you’ve been honest in your application is important, especially if you’ve lied about any places of employment or duration worked with the company.

An employer is going to use these dates to determine if you’re a good fit for the company. They may interpret large gaps in employment as concerning, particularly if you haven’t mentioned these gaps during the interview process. Likewise, a history of frequent positions may indicate a flight risk (meaning you’re going to leave after a short period).

Education history is another key area an employer is going to review before hiring. Validating any educational certificates, courses, or degrees is crucial for a government-regulated industry. Most companies will confirm that an individual has attended the school dictated on their resume and whether they have graduated or completed the program.

You will likely be dismissed from a potential job if you’re caught fabricating and lying about your education history. While everyone has a few jobs throughout their employment history, red flags are those people without a history or a rapidly changing history.

Criminal History

Although an employer legally can’t turn away a candidate for having prior convictions (especially if those charges are in the long-ago past, they can influence their decision to hire you moving forward. An employer can dismiss an applicant if they believe the past criminal charges pose a risk to their company or staff – meaning your assault charge from 10 years ago, could get you turned down in the future.

Just because you have a criminal record, that doesn’t mean you won’t get a call back from the company. Federal law requires an employer to allow applicants to clear their name if up for employment denial.

If you happen to have a criminal history, don’t freak out. Make sure you can provide details of what happened (if given a chance to explain) calmly and professionally.

Credit History

Not every employer is going to review your credit history when applying for a job, but if you’re working within the financial sector, it’s very likely to happen. That’s because an employer is going to want stability and security when it comes to finances, particularly if you’re going to be responsible for other people’s accounts or investments.

Any employer wanting to perform a credit check will have you sign a consent form before completion, as it’s mandated by law. They’ll review your credit to debt ratios, any bad debts (collections, judgments, or civil suits) on your account, and any information about the accounts you have on file. They’ll also see if you have tax liens or bankruptcies on your account as well, which may cost you the job in the financial industry.

Understanding How Background Checks are Used

Every employer has a different set of guidelines and qualifications they need to meet when hiring an individual. While some employers are willing to overlook a criminal past in exchange for highly technical skills, others demand their employees hold a positive credit check at the time of hiring. These differences are dependent on the industry and sector of employment.

Trying to secure employment may seem like a game of luck. Employers are trying to ensure every staff member they keep on hand is beneficial. To determine if a person meets those standards, the background check is reviewed and evaluated to compare risk against the potential reward of having the employee with their company. If your background check highlights areas that could be a potential risk for the employer, they’ll likely remove you as a potential employee in the future.

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