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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Background Checks - What you need to know

Employers are continually being more cautious when hiring new employees and will often do a background check. This can include a credit check, a verification of employment, an educational degree verification and reference checks. Federal and state laws require background checks for certain jobs including anyone who works with children or the disabled. Certain verifications will require a potential employee's permission to execute.
There are many commercial sources that can be found on the internet that offer detailed background checks. Most of the information is pulled from multiple sources and is in the public domain. Smaller firms will often go online to have one of these searches done. As a suggestion it is highly recommended for a person looking for a new position to run a background check on themselves.
Credit checks can only be done with a signed permission. You can get a free copy of your credit report by going to www.annualcreditreport.com. It is beneficial to review your credit report every few months to make certain everything is in order. Most importantly be honest when asked about your credit history or current salary. Employers have been known to ask for copies of W-2 statements to verify salaries stated on an application.
If you are applying for a job that involves driving, whether it be a trucker or a salesperson who drives a company car, it is also advised to check your DMV record.
In our fast moving digital age you should also 'google' yourself to see what comes up. Damaging information may appear that is not about you, but someone else with the same name. Be prepared to address the findings in case it is brought up in an interview. In the same regard take a look at your personal LinkedIn profile, Myspace page and Facebook account to see if there is anything offensive or does not support your resume. Employers are becoming more savvy and taking the time to research these sites to get a better understanding of who they are hiring.
It is also a good idea to ask for a copy of your personal file from previous and current employers. They may not give it to you, but it is good to have if you can get it. Ask for copies of performance reviews once they are completed, a good review can be a great tool when looking for a new job.
Finally take the time to properly educate the people on your reference list about your job search. Review with them what you are looking for, what attributes you would like them to stress and how they want to be contacted. A poorly briefed reference can negatively reflect on you. Be prepared the employer may go beyond your reference list and ask other associates about your background.

Contact Kunin Associates if you have questions on how to conduct a proper background check or how to handle concerns on your personal record.

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