What happens on a pre-employment background check?

by Evil HR Lady on December 9, 2013

When you receive a job offer there is often a line in the offer letter that says, “This offer is contingent upon completion of a successful background check.” Just what is involved in that? What can you expect to be uncovered?

Many people are concerned that if they leave a short term job off their resume or neglect to mention the job where they were fired, it will show up in a background check. This is unlikely, as it’s not like an FBI investigation into your life. Remember that resumes are marketing documents and you’re not required to put anything negative on them, but if asked to list all positions, you should, since you can be fired for dishonesty if you don’t. But, it’s not likely to show up in a background check.

But what can you expect? Attorney Johanna Harris allowed me a sneak peak at her new book Use Protection: An Employee’s Guide to Advancement in the Workplace, to explain just what to expect in a background check.

To keep reading, click here: What happens on a pre-employment background check?

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Kimmiejo December 9, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Regarding the bankruptcies, it is my understanding that current employers cannot fire an employee who files bankruptcies. However, a company can choose not to hire someone because of a bankruptcy – which is often the case for certain finance or banking jobs.


Evil HR Lady December 11, 2013 at 11:48 am

I’m not sure of the rules around how bankruptcies can be used in considering a job. I’d like to learn more some day.


Scott Jobs December 10, 2013 at 5:05 pm

I’ve found it best to apply to as many jobs and have as many background checks take place within a short period of time, if multiple credit checks are pulled in the same week, it will only count as on “strike”

Check out more info on – http://JobSnare.com


Evil HR Lady December 11, 2013 at 11:47 am

Credit pulls for jobs aren’t the same as ones for credit. It doesn’t count against you–as long as they are pulling it right.


Matt December 11, 2013 at 4:26 am

Back in June of 2012 the Freakonomics podcast interviewed an FBI agent who investigated companies that gave false credentials for job seekers such as college degrees. It continues to be an issue as well as a balancing act.


Evil HR Lady December 11, 2013 at 11:47 am

Oh yeah, there are definitely ways to try to trick the system. Hopefully the person doing the background check can see through that.


ToddR January 13, 2014 at 6:30 pm

I think we’re pretty mainstream.
Criminal (7 years, really looking for fraud or violence)
Verify dates/titles on application
Verify degree
Government watch-lists (limited)
Professional references, done electronically
Sex offender registries
10-panel drug screen (at least I think it’s 10 panel)

I can’t say I’ve ever had an instance where something was omitted from either a resume or application and we discovered it and discussed it with a candidate.


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