Background checks are often part of the job application process these days. These checks are often used by employers as a means of objectively evaluating a job candidate's qualifications, character and to identify potential hiring risks for safety and security reasons.
An extensive background check is used to thoroughly investigate potential government employees in order to be given a security clearance. Some statistics revel 40 percent of resumes can contain false or tweaked information, so employers want to ensure that what they are getting is an employee who is honest, trustworthy and responsible.
You can pretty much guarantee that if you are applying for a job that involves trust, meaning banking, dealing with account and social security numbers, sensitive company information, children, disabled individuals or the elderly, you can expect to have a background investigation. Employers also feel using your credit history can gauge your level of responsibility.
Information sought in a background investigation should be job-related; generally, the type of background check an employer conducts depends on the parameters of the position. Elements of a background checks can include:
- Employment references
- Education verification - School grades, degree and any professional qualifications obtained
- Character reference check
- Gaps in employment history
- Identity and address verification - whether the applicant is who he or she claims to be. Generally includes verification of the candidate's present and previous addresses.
- Credit history - bankruptcies
- Criminal history report
- An Internet search on google.com, Facebook and/or Linkedin to confirm an individual's claims about their jobs, performance, awards, etc.
Please be aware that an employer must obtain your written consent to conduct any type of a credit or background check. Any kind of background check will cost an employer money, so typically only the top few candidiates will be evaulated to the full extent. If there is any doubt that the company is not legitimate, do not give anyone information on your Social Security number or bank account numbers prior to an in-person interview.
I still have 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. "mock interview" appointments available on Wednesday, Aug. 11. Please contact me ASAP if you would like to schedule one of those slots to brush up on your interview techniques. 540-722-3415 or Samantha.Greenfield@vec.virginia.gov