Today's post is written by guest writer Jane Smith (I wonder if she is related to Mr and Mrs Smith ☺). Many employers do background checks before offering a job to their favorite candidate, it may be a good idea to anticipate them and ensure that there isn't any dirt your potential employer will uncover in the process! Let's hear what Jane has to say about it all:
There are numerous aspects of the job search that invite worry and stress for a candidate. From writing up an embarrassingly shining review of yourself in cover letters to selling yourself unabashedly in interviews, there are plenty of things to stress over during your search.
Unemployment is a stressful time as it is, not to mention the increasing difficulty job-seekers are facing in today's economy. With so many things to worry about as it is, concern over background screenings shouldn't add to the equation. Pre-employment background screenings are typically used by employers in the final stages of their employment process. While the actual nature of the screening and check varies from one employer to the next, most include criminal background checks, a credit check, resume verification, and at times drug testing.
Failing a pre-employment background check can be extremely costly for a job candidate, potentially costing you the job. The best way to prepare for a pre-employment background screening is to educate yourself on the process and follow these few steps beforehand.
Double Check Your Resume
The first step to ensuring a successful background check from a potential employer is to check all the information carefully on your resume. You want to make sure that everything on your resume is absolutely accurate. Firstly, make sure your employment and education information is up-to-date. Double check dates, test scores, and grade point averages. It can be easy to accidentally put the wrong numbers or dates on your resume. While this may be an honest mistake, some employers may see it as you trying to lie about graduation dates or grades. Be sure to make sure all of your job reference information is updated and accurate. This allows your potential employer to easily get a hold of your references. Be up-front about things. Don't try to stretch dates or test scores to try to look better. Show yourself honestly on your resume.
Obtain a Credit Report
Obtaining a credit report for yourself is a fairly easy process. It's usually wise to obtain a credit report before going through the job process. Be sure to go to the official websites of all three of the major credit bureaus. It's pretty easy to find websites that will allow you to access a credit report online fairly easily. Look through your credit reports and search for any inaccurate items. Try to find anything that looks inaccurate before you go through the job search and employment process, so that you can have things taken care of before a pre-employment background check. Disputing any incorrect entries on your credit report is annoying, but is entirely doable. Include your reason for the dispute and any supporting proof you have concerning the matter.
Check Your Criminal and Auto Record
While this may seem scary and unnecessary at times, it's better to be aware of what employers might find rather than being caught off guard. Go to your local police station and ask for the procedures on obtaining a criminal history check. You can follow the instruction they give you (they may vary from city to city) and review the report. Take note of any items that you want to dispute, such as charges that were dropped, and ask an officer for the dispute methods. It's also smart to review your motor vehicle record is complete and accurate. Ask for a copy of your driving record from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. This item of a background check may not come up for every employment opportunity, but is something some employers look too. If you are seeking a job that involves driving of any sort, this is definitely an item employers will look in to.
Jane Smith is a freelance blogger and writer for www.backgroundcheck.org. She specializes in various types of information screenings, such as pre-employment background checks, criminal records, and much more. Email her your questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.