Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Preparing for Background Checks

With unemployment stagnant and hovering around nine percent and many more underemployed, competition for jobs has increased significantly. As a result, employers are taking measures to make the applicant pool smaller, and background checks are one. A procedure toward the end of the application process, background checks are clues to each candidate's character and verify information listed on a resume and said in an interview. As a result, a background check examines past names and addresses, verifies employment and education histories, checks references, examines credit and criminal histories, and may even look at your driving records.

Because 95 percent of all hiring employers use background checks in the hiring process, knowing what will be found in an investigation is crucial. To avoid surprise later, doing a personal background check is recommended.

While not all background check companies have this service, some do, and knowing what past education institutions and employers are saying is helpful. In fact, you may even find a piece of information to dispute. In many cases, employers' statements aside, credit history is often up for dispute, especially if a candidate was targeted by identity theft.

Background checks, however, may be the first instance an individual finds his or her identity has been stolen, used to open a bank account or take out a loan. Before even thinking about a background check's role in employment, address and attempt to resolve any identity theft or inaccurate claims from previous employers.

At the same time, a potential employer may check your background in the application process when your history is not stellar. What do you do? For credit history, in particular, explain prior to the background check being conducted, that your identity has been stolen or, in the case of your own poor financial history, why certain items are listed. Because of the current economic climate, poor credit history does not correlate with or cause lackluster job performance.

Much like preparing for a job interview, prepare for a background check by having your history investigated. This way, when you get farther along in the application process, you will be fully aware of the information the potential employer is viewing.

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