4 Tips for Preparing for a Background Screening
Most employers hiring for desirable positions perform background checks. It is often required of them by insurance companies, and the Internet age has made background screening tools extremely powerful in terms of how comprehensive they are. The goal in preparing for a background screening is to avoid being caught unaware. If you know of something in advance, you can deal with it in a direct manner, but if you are caught off guard, it will often sink your chances to be hired.
1. Check your credit.
Credit checks during background screens sink more applications than any other component. More and more companies are performing credit checks because poor credit demonstrates irresponsibility. The biggest problem is erroneous elements on a report of which a person wasn’t aware. This is a shame considering that credit reports can often be checked at no cost and with obligation. If you find some inaccurate information, you can initiate a dispute and have it removed.
2. Conduct a criminal check on yourself if there is cause for concern.
If you have no criminal record, then you can skip this step. If you do, then you need to educate yourself about the state in which you’re applying. What questions can the employer ask? What information can the employer access? Be forthright, but never volunteer information the company has no legal right to. In addition, you should perform a nationwide criminal check of yourself to determine if any information is coming up that should be protected. You may need a lawyer to undo such mistakes.
3. Be mindful of drug testing.
If you have consumed any illegal substances, then you should let those run their course before seeking employment. Avoid attempts to disguise use because most don’t work and those that can are illegal. If you are hiring in a state where certain substances, such as marijuana, are legal for recreational use, do not assume that company does not test. The employer is under no obligation based on that law.
4. Review social media accounts.
Welcome to the Internet age. More and more people are finding themselves not hired based on posts made when they were young or in college. Go through all of your social media accounts and remove any content at all that could make you look bad from the perspective of an employer.
If you target jobs in which background screening is to be expected, then your publicly available background record should be something you protect and nurture. Keep up with even if you are currently happily employed. The job market can be unpredictable, and you never know when you’ll need that positive background that helps sell you as a successful hire.