Secrets of the Job Hunt


Monday, July 07, 2008

Correcting Falsehoods in Background Checks

Why does everyone want to know about my background? I’m just looking for jobs!

If you’re wondering why employment background checks have become so popular, you’re not alone. Almost anyone who applies for a job today is asking that same question. And they’re not happy that the speeding ticket they got last summer on that beach trip has to be included on their application.

When a potential employer requests your approval to conduct a background check, they typically want you to sign a waiver giving them access to driving records, medical records, and court records. Depending on the type of job you’re applying for, they may even want to talk with family and friends about you.

Although this seems like an invasion of privacy, it actually makes good business sense and it serves to protect you in the long-term as well. Part of the process includes verification that you have not entered the country illegally or that you do not have criminal convictions that might make you a risk to the company and its customers. But remember that it’s also protecting you because others are being checked the same way.

Background checks help to ensure that people have the experience, education, and training that they say they do. And it also serves to protect the employees, the company, and the customers from any potential criminal activity or liability by hiring someone who is not well-suited for a job listing.

But always make sure you understand what your potential employer is checking and make sure it is accurate. There can be erroneous information in computer systems and files anywhere and it’s your job to make sure your information is accurate. If you’re ever turned down for a job based on an employment background check, be sure to discuss it with your potential employer and correct any erroneous information collected.

Employers are required to provide you with this information based on the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. You should receive information documenting your rights and how you can dispute any misinformation.

If you’ve got nothing to hide, then an employment background check is a formality. But if you’re hiding something on your resume or application, you might want to just forgo applying for that job!

1 comment:

Antony said...

As long as you are clean hand in the past nothing to worry about the background check. It is just formality.

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