Should You Run a Background Check On Yourself?

Should You Run a Background Check On Yourself?

As you ready yourself for a job search and a job offer, you should work on your resume, cover letter, and interview skills. But there’s one thing you might be missing - the background check. Most employers run a background check on job prospects, and you need to be ready for that. Before you start interviewing, you should consider running a background check on yourself. Doing so could save you from missing out on a job offer.

Why Run a Background Check on Yourself

Almost all employers run background checks on their employees. More often than not, the background check comes later in the process. After weeks of waiting and interviews, you could finally be near the finish line. But then, right before you reach the finish line, a failed background check could result in you missing out on the job.

The average person doesn't know much about background checks. Before you start worrying, you should learn a little about the process. Typically, a background check looks into your criminal record, credit score, and education. If you have good credit and have never been arrested, do you really need to worry? In short, yes.

Identify Mistakes

No process is perfect, and a background check can result in a mix-up. If someone stole your identity or you share a name with someone, your background check could show up with some surprises. Even sharing a birthday with someone could cause your background check to have a mistaken arrest or credit score.

You can start off by doing a quick Google search on yourself. Although this isn’t the same as running a background check, searching Google could help you discover if someone shares your name.

Confirm Your Resume

There’s also a chance that something on your resume won’t be supported by your background check. If this is the case, the employer might assume that you’re lying and could deny you for this reason alone. Once again, mistakes can happen. You might have the wrong date of employment on your resume or a similar issue. By comparing your resume with your background check, you can ensure that everything is consistent.

Prepare for an Explanation

You can’t do anything about a criminal record or a low credit score. However, you can prepare for the way in which you explain your background check. Running your own check allows you to know exactly what the hiring manager will see, and it gives you time to come up with an explanation. Once you know what’s on your background check, you can spend time coming up with an explanation.

It’s much better for a hiring manager to hear about an arrest or a low credit score from you, rather than seeing it on your background check and coming to their own conclusions. Before you consent to the check, you can prepare the hiring manager and give an explanation. This softens the blow and makes them more likely to overlook an issue in your past.

How to Run the Background Check

As mentioned before, a Google search is a good way to see what comes up when someone searches your name. However, it’s not detailed enough to fully prepare you for the job search. You should also use an employment screening service to run your background check.

While there are other ways of running a background check, the other methods don’t guarantee that you’ll see exactly what a hiring manager sees when they run the check. Going through a screening service ensures you get the same report that a hiring manager would.

Pick a Provider

First, you need to pick the service provider. Some companies only allow employers to run background checks. Before you pick a provider, make sure they will permit you to run a background check on yourself. A quick Google search should help you find the right provider.

After you find a few possibilities, research their qualifications. They should comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Check out the company’s reviews as well, to avoid any scams or inaccuracies.

Pick Your Package

Most companies offer several different types of background checks. If you want accurate results, pick a package that includes federal, state, and county records. This will cost you more money but will get you results that mimic what the hiring manager will see. If you’re applying for a job that requires you to drive, you should also pick a package that does a motor vehicle records search.

Run the Report

As a final step, run the background check. You’ll need the same information that your prospective employer will ask for - name, address, social security number, and past employment details. In a short time, you should have a background report in your hands.

Does the Background Check Really Matter?

When an employer is looking to fill a vacancy, they want to find someone who checks all the boxes. Unfortunately, this may also mean finding someone who has a certain credit score or no criminal history. Here are a few reasons why employers place such an emphasis on the background check:

Improve Quality

As a company grows, they strive to improve the quality of their workers. The background check allows them to do just that. With a background check, the hiring manager can weed out the candidates that might decrease the quality of the staff.

Discover Deceit

If a job applicant lies on their resume, they could be highly underqualified for a position. And, unfortunately, many applicants lie on their resume and during interviews. The background check is a way for an employer to be certain that a candidate is being honest.

Protect Reputation

An organization’s reputation is everything. By performing a background check, a company can avoid hiring someone who has a history that might tarnish their company’s reputation.

Every company needs to comply with local and federal laws. Sometimes, laws state that individuals with certain criminal histories aren’t allowed to work in an industry. The company can’t ignore the results of the background check because they need to remain in compliance with laws.

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