What to Expect from a Background Check


Congrats on receiving a job offer! You aced the interview process and you have the first day at your new career all scheduled. Now all that’s left is the routine, obligatory background check. No big deal right? Well, actually, the background check is a huge deal because it has been known to derail a candidate from starting at their new gig. What exactly goes into a background check? Here’s what recruiters are looking at when your report is queued up.

Criminal Records – Companies look to see if there’s any felony charges and open warrants to your name. Your profile can also be cross-referenced with local and national offender registries.

Education, Certification, and Licenses – Companies double-check to see if you really did graduate with that degree from that school. The same goes for any certifications that appear on your resume. If you have some education completed but you didn’t graduate, don’t be afraid to state that. Companies would rather have you be honest early in the process than to lose you at the final hour because the background check raised a red flag.

References – Be sure to list actual, reliable people as your references because companies will call who you listed. The best references are former supervisors and co-workers since they can provide a more accurate picture of who you are as an employee. If you include family members pretending to be former co-workers or managers, you might be in for a failed check.

Drug Testing – Last, but not least, is the drug test. Mainly using a hair sample, companies look to see if you’ve taken any harmful or illegal substances within a recent timeframe.

If you have any questions or concerns about a background check, don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer or hiring manager during your interview. They’ll be glad you asked and then they can help you through the process and smooth out any bumps that might appear.

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