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Employment Background Checks: 3 Things That May Be Held Against You

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Very few employers will employ somebody without running background checks. These are part of the screening processes they go through when choosing who they might or might not employ. 

These checks can be frustrating, especially when employers discover things about you that aren’t reflective of your skills and job experiences. Thankfully, if anything negative is discovered, your application might not be thrown into the trash automatically. You might still have the opportunity to discuss the red flags that the employer has discovered, and by taking a few small steps, you might still be able to win them over to your side.

Let’s take a look at three things that may be held against you, and what you can do to help your cause. 

(Picpedia CC0)

#1: Your criminal history

Not every employer will run a criminal background check. However, if you applying for a job that requires high-security clearance, or that requires contact with vulnerable groups of people, the chances of a criminal record search are high.

Very few employers will employ somebody without running background checks. These are part of the screening processes they go through when choosing who they might or might not employ. Click To Tweet

Now, if you do have a criminal record, but your conviction is one that was later overturned, you do have the right to scrub your record clean with the legal help of an expungement lawyer. And if your conviction is spent, it might be that the employer will ignore it if the job you are applying to doesn’t relate to the offense. 

But if you have a conviction that still isn’t spent, you should be honest about it to the employer. Let them know how you have managed to redeem yourself, perhaps with the references of people who trust and can vouch for you. For more advice on this subject, check out our article on job hunting with a criminal record.  

#2: Your employment history

An employer is unlikely to delve too far back into your employment history, but on the off chance that they do, you should make sure your resume is free of any falsehoods. Your application will be dismissed if it’s clear you have been dishonest. 

The employer might also require references from your last employer, which can be problematic if you were fired from your last job, or if you didn’t get on with them. If you feel you were treated unfairly, you can mention this in your interview, of course, as you have the right to share your side of the story if asked about it at the interview. You can also give your potential new employer other references, perhaps from earlier employers, or from anybody else in your life who can paint you in a better light than your last employer. 

Still, if you do have a shady employment history, and if you haven’t always behaved well, explain how you have learned from your past mistakes when you’re sat in the job interview.

#3: Your credit history

If you have a bad credit report, don’t assume it will be a deal-breaker. Not many employers will look into it anyway, so you might have little reason to fear. However, if you are applying for a job in a financial institution or any other type of employment where you might have to handle money, the employer probably will look at your credit report. A bad credit history will be a red flag in these instances, so if you suspect there may be an issue when applying for jobs, do what you can to improve your credit score at an early stage to mitigate any future employment problems. 

So, never assume your job chances will be poor, even with these employment background checks. But do what you can to help your cause, as you will improve your chances of landing the jobs you want if you can give your future employers some peace of mind before they hire you.

Job Hunting Tips for People with Hot and Not-So-Hot Backgrounds
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This popular guide presents 150 job hunting tips that are applicable to most job seekers, regardless of their backgrounds. 

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06/30/2022 12:43 am GMT

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