There’s no way of knowing if an employer will ask for background checks. Since some may, you should prepare in advance to increase the chances of landing your dream job.

It is not possible to change the information that is on your record. However, it is an advantage to know the type of information that employers may require. This knowledge allows you to show the truth in a better light.

Keep on reading to know more about how to prepare for a background check for employment.

What Information Can Employers Require for Background Checks? 

At first glance, it might seem like the background check information has nothing to do with a job position. However, this information is useful for employers to determine your character, values, and work ethic. 

In a background check, an employer may look for information like: 

  • Credit Report: The information on your credit report must be accurate and up to date. To request a free copy, contact credit bureaus like Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. If your information is wrong, you’ll have to discuss it with the credit reporting agency. 
  • Driving Record: Some jobs require employees to have a driver’s license. Employers can check for any traffic violations in your driving record. You can get a copy of your driving record at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • Employment References: Former employers can disclose any information about employees. If possible, contact your former employers and ask for a copy of their opinion regarding your work performance. 
  • Criminal Records: It is crucial to check that your criminal record is accurate. You can request a file copy from the FBI. Other places to request your files are the state police and the state public safety office.
  • Drug Testing: After a successful interview, an employer may ask for a drug test to make a job offer. Employers can conduct drug tests even in states where cannabis use is legal.

Legal Rights for Employees Regarding Background Checks 

Employees must be aware of their rights before agreeing to a background check:

  • Background check consent: Employers cannot run a background check without the consent of the employee.
  • Discrimination in the workplace: During the hiring process, the treatment should be equal for all candidates. Motives to run a background check should not be based on a person’s race, age, ethnicity, gender, religion, or disability. Otherwise, this would be a violation of the employees’ rights.

What to Do if I Have a Criminal Record?

Some state laws protect employees’ information required for criminal background checks. For example, in some states, employers cannot access criminal records that are too old (around 10 years). Other states only allow access to criminal records for safety-sensitive jobs.

If you have a recent criminal record, potential employers will probably find out about it. We recommend planning a coherent response with anticipation. Also, make sure to stick to the facts. 

Federal EEO laws prohibit employers to use criminal records to discriminate against potential employees. 

Run a Background Check on Yourself

If you want to go the extra mile, we recommend running a background check on yourself. 

Running your own background check can help you land a job by giving you the chance to:

  • Access your information: With a background check, employees can know what information employers are getting. 
  • Correct mistakes: With their own background check, employees can see if their information is accurate. If necessary, they’ll be able to correct any mistakes. 

Do you need a background check? National Crime Search (NCS) can help! We provide reliable, simple, and affordable background screening solutions. Reach out to us today to get a background check. We are here to help.

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