Background checks are a standard part of the hiring process for many companies. It’s not uncommon for employers to want to verify the claims an applicant has made on their resume or in their interview. Performing background checks also prevents the employer from being held responsible in the case that an employee is involved in serious misconduct, illegal activity, or another issue that could potentially bring about a negligent hiring lawsuit for the company.

What Do Background Checks Show?

Background checks help confirm an array of other things for the employer as well such as job competence, workplace safety, and honesty and integrity. If by any chance a candidate overstated their educational qualifications or work history, has had an altercation or incident with a previous employer or co-worker, or lied about any other information, it will become known after a background check is performed.

When an employer runs a background check, it is the collection and inspection of both public and private documents that verify criminal records (state, county, and city), credit history, employment history, work authorization, education history, social media profiles, driving record and any medical records that are not restricted. Additionally, Background checks come in different forms and employers can choose reports that may only verify certain factors or ones that go into more detail about one of these specific categories.

How to Prepare for A Background Check:

When applying to jobs and interviewing with different companies in general, it’s important to upkeep your social media, resume, and records. You never know when a potential employer may view these things so there should be no causes for concern visible.

Some steps to take when prepping for a background check include:

1. Review Social Media Profiles and Ensure Privacy Settings

Since it is super common for hiring managers or recruiters to view the social media profiles of job candidates, it’s always a good idea to monitor and check over any profiles you may have to ensure that there is no inappropriate or questionable material/information on your profile. If there is information you do not want potential employers to access, make your accounts private and curate your content (by deleting or hiding) to manage what they will be able to see.

2. Keep Up-to-Date Records of your Academic and Employment History

It is always important that you have either digital or hard copies of your academic transcripts/diplomas. This ensures you can prove your educational requirements to an employer and don’t misspeak on anything since they will probably access these documents themselves. Keeping a record of pay stubs and previous employer contacts is also necessary to ensure you can provide the potential employer with all of the information they need. Additionally, if you have this information on hand, you won’t be surprised with the results of a background check and can prepare for any issues that would potentially arise.

3. Be honest

Like we just mentioned, you will probably know If somethings gonna go wrong with your background check, If this is the case, discuss it with your potential employer. If you are specifically asked about your past in an employment application, be honest. While policies vary from company to company, an employer is more likely to hear you out if you address parts of your history while also explaining how you could fulfill your job duties.

4. Let Your References Know They May Be Contacted

Contact your professional references and let them know they may be contacted as part of the screening process. It will most likely just be to verify your work history with them but also for a review maybe. So make sure you give them a heads up so they can prepare also!

All in all, background checks shouldn’t be a cause for concern or scary as long as you hit all these points. They are simply a way for companies to safeguard their reputation and hire secure candidates.