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You May Want To Order A Background Check On Yourself

by Blake Forrester 5/2/2011 9:14:00 AM

If you are looking for a job, you can expect that any potential employers are going to want a background check performed on you. Different potential employers will want to know different things about you. There are several reasons employers use background checks for pre-employment screening.

Employers need to be careful about who they hire since negligent hiring lawsuits are happening more often. If an employee's actions hurt another individual, the employer may be liable. Therefore, the employer will want to check your past for any red flags that might tell them you are a risk to their company. Hiring the wrong person can drain a company financially and harm the career of the hiring manager.

Recent happenings have increased the need for thorough pre-employment screening.

Almost every state has a law in place that anyone who works with children will need to undergo a background check. This has come about because of the countless cases of child abuse and child abduction. Employers must make sure children are safe.

The events of September 11, 2001 have increased the need of thorough screening and identity verification. New applicants and long-time employees are checked following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The professional and private lives of corporate employees, officers and directors are examined now more than ever since the collapse of Enron.

Resume fraud is on the rise. There have been numerous news reports on employees supplying false or inflated information in an effort to obtain a job they may not even be qualified for. Human resource professionals are aware that some resumes contain false information. Performing a background check on a potential employee can give them insight into whether a person is honest and trustworthy.

Criminal background checks
are required in most states for certain jobs. For instance, background checks are required by law in almost every state when the job involves small children and the medical profession. Anyone working with the elderly will most likely will be subject to a background check.

The internet contains numerous databases containing millions of records of personal data. As the cost for these services drops, employers are finding that it makes more sense to perform background checks.

You may feel that you don't have anything to hide, and therefore, are not concerned. However, running a background check on yourself can reveal undesirable information. A detailed check might contain information that is irrelevant, isn't what it appears to be or just outright wrong. Some information may even be illegal to use when being considered for a job. Therefore, you may want to order your own background check so that you know what it contains and you will be prepared to face your potential employers. If it contains negative information, you may be able to explain what had happened.

Steps to a Successful Background Checks

by Blake Forrester 3/21/2011 10:16:00 AM

Many employers use background checks as part of their screening process. Background checks help employers determine which job candidates are suitable for the business and the position that they are applying for. If you are job hunting, take the time to prepare for a pre-employment screening using the following techniques:

  • Order a background check on yourself. This will give you access to the information potential employers will see. Sometimes court, credit, and driving records are not changed properly, and if you spot erroneous information, you can take action to correct it


  • If you have been convicted of a crime, contact the county where the crime was committed and make sure court records are up to date. Many times, courts neglect to change felony convictions to misdemeanors when a person believes that this has already happened. This can be due to several factors, including a court employee forgetting to obtain a necessary signature, for example. You may have to travel to the county and look up the records yourself in order to ensure that they are correct.


  • Run a credit report on yourself. Many employers consider credit as well as criminal history. Some black marks on your credit record can be dealt with by paying off debts, or by contacting creditors and working out a payment plan. This can also inform you if there are errors in your credit history or if you’ve had your identity stolen.


  • Particularly for driving jobs, obtain your driving record from the DMV. Make sure that any traffic infractions you have are, in fact, traffic infractions and not more serious offenses (for example, a DUI qualifies as a misdemeanor in most places.)


  • Run an internet search on yourself. Many employers look at Facebook, MySpace, and other social networking sites, as well as blogs, and unsavory information or pictures could cause them to reconsider you for employment. To the extent that you can, edit out any information you would not want an employer to see.


  • Let your friends and family know that you are having a background check run. This will alert them, since some companies will contact people close to you, and allows them to speak to investigators with your permission.

By looking out for potential problems and dealing with them proactively, you can have your background check and credit report work for you instead of against you. Changing your background check information can be a huge step forward to your future.

Don't Let Mistakes on Background Checks Prevent You from Getting a Job

by Tom Ahearn 4/7/2009 1:41:00 PM

In today’s economic climate, finding a job seems next to impossible.  The most recent unemployment numbers are truly staggering.  According to a Labor Department report:

  • There are more than 13 million officially unemployed people in the United States;
  • The unemployment rate has reached its highest figure in a quarter of a century;
  • Over five million jobs have been lost since the recession began in December 2007.

As if finding a job wasn’t tough enough, jobseekers competing with a large pool of qualified competitors must also deal with employers being extremely selective when hiring.  Now imagine overcoming these hurdles to be selected, only to stumble before crossing the finish line of employment because of a failed background check.  Even worse, what if the information from that check was inaccurate or out-of-date?

It's not their fault, right? Wrong! Jobseekers should expect to undergo a background check and they need to know EXACTLY what personal information will be revealed.

  • 9 out of 10 U.S. employers perform background checks before each hire!
  • An average total of 40-50 million background checks are done each year!

A new article on, "Is Your Background Check Costing You a Job?  The Five Most Common Mistakes and How to Correct Them," examines the most frequent causes of inaccurate personal information. If you are interested in discovering the most common mistakes in background checks that can keep jobs out of the hands of qualified applicants, as well as how jobseekers and consumers can take control of their personal information, please visit the home page to download the article FREE.

For more information on's personal background check services, please email or call 1-800-503-2364.

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Can’t Get a Job? The Five Most Common Mistakes in Background Checks May Be Stopping You

by Tom Ahearn 4/3/2009 3:50:00 PM

From entry level to executive suite, most jobs these days require a background check. Various surveys show that between 80 to 95 percent of U.S. businesses conduct some variety of background checks on prospective employees, and many employers are re-checking current workers in addition to applicants.

Statistics show that hiring managers find discrepancies on over 50 percent of applications and resumes. With the rise in unemployment resulting in a large pool of jobseekers, employers can – and most surely will – be as stringent as possible when it comes to the pre-employment screening process. If you are one of the millions of people currently looking for work, you most likely will undergo a background check.

What's in a Background Check?

It depends on the job, but the majority of background checks include a Social Security Number (SSN) Address Trace (to locate addresses you may have lived at) and some sort of Criminal Record Search (county, state, ‘US Crim,’ or federal). In addition, many employers seek other information such as a Sex Offender Search, an Employment and/or Education Verification, a Professional License Verification, a Motor Vehicle Driving Records (MVR) Examination, or a Credit Report.

To ensure that your personal information is correct, you need to know what possible mistakes, errors, and inaccuracies are most common during typical background checks. Once found, they can be removed or changed. Here are the “Five Most Common Mistakes in Background Checks” and the reasons they occur:

COMMON MISTAKE #1: Mistaken Identity

When you visit a social networking website like Facebook or MySpace, are you surprised to discover that so many people share your name? Do some make you say: “That’s not the right (your name)! I’m me!” So it shouldn’t come as a shock that a subject of a background check can get mixed up with a less than desirable namesake. So it shouldn’t come as a shock that a subject of a background check can get mixed up with a less than desirable namesake. What is surprising though is the fact that most criminal record cases in the United States do not contain your Social Security Number. As a result, courthouses use your name and date of birth as the main identifier. It is very easy and common for a criminal record to be returned that has your name, and in some cases your date of birth, as identifiers.

COMMON MISTAKE #2: Wrong Social Security Number

Your nine-digit Social Security Number (SSN) is more important than your name, since no one is allowed to share your SSN number (unlike your name). But a simple typo in one of those nine digits can lead to a lot of trouble during the SSN Trace, which is usually the first step in most background checks and reports any names and addresses used or associated with the SSN, and if the SSN belongs to a deceased person.

COMMON MISTAKE #3: Identity Theft & Fraud

Sometimes it is no accident when someone else ends up with your name and your SSN. Identity theft increased 22 percent in 2008 to victimize almost 10 million U.S. adults, according to a report released by Javelin Research. The unauthorized use of another person’s personal information to achieve financial gain is rapidly becoming a popular way to earn a living in today’s economy. A criminal with your identity can commit crimes, be arrested, and skip a trial, leaving you with a warrant for your arrest.

COMMON MISTAKE #4: Incomplete & Missing Information

Inaccurate and out-of-date information is bad enough, but sometimes your records contain incomplete or missing information that fails to tell “the whole story” – i.e. the truth – which means that you will have some explaining to do after a background check. “It wasn’t my fault…” and “What really happened…” are two phrases that you never want to have to say during a job interview. Most experts agree that up front communication about any criminal record is the best practice to pursue. Many background checks do not contain all of the information in the criminal file, only partial information gleaned from a quick glance or an electronic look‐up of the record. Items such as dismissals, expungement, diversion programs, or successful completion of parole or probation may be left out in error. It is important to make sure the prospective employer knows all of the facts, including how it all ended.

COMMON MISTAKE #5: Illegal Information 

Many states have protections on what information may be included in a background check or how it is procured. For example, California, Montana, Nevada, and New Mexico (in most cases) limit the years your background check report may go back to a maximum of seven (7) years. Other states (Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Texas, and Washington for example) allow the use of criminal records unless your proposed salary is above a certain amount (some are $20,000 a year and others $75,000 per year, depending on the state). Some states even restrict the types of records that may be reported (marijuana convictions, for example). On a federal level, the use of some criminal records in a hiring decision can be deemed discriminatory (Find U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines on the use of criminal records at

The biggest legal issue is if you discover an employer conducted a background check on you without your written permission. All employers must receive your permission before procuring a background check through a third party agency. This federal law cannot be preempted by any state law and must be followed.

How Do I Correct Any Errors Found?

You’re in luck. The law is on your side when it comes to background checks for employment purposes. Prior to making a decision not to hire you, the employer must give you notice of their intent to do so and the name of the company that conducted the background check on you. They must also give you a copy of the report and wait at least five (5) days to allow you to dispute the information in the report. If an error is found on the report and you dispute it, the employer and the background check company must correct the errors and prove to you that they have done so.

Make Sure Your Personal Information is Accurate with a “Personal” Background Check

In today’s “Age of Information,” you are what your personal information says you are. Jobseekers consenting to a background check should at least know what information will be uncovered beforehand, and if that information is accurate, up-to-date, and secure. Or else suffer the consequences of lost jobs. Protect yourself by protecting your personal information. Find the errors before they find you. Since it is your information, it is up to you to make sure it is correct with a personal background check.

Background checks have been performed by employers on prospective employees for years. Jobseekers requesting background checks on themselves in order to better their chances of getting hired is a recent development. By giving yourself a personal background check, you are taking control of your own personal information – a good idea no matter what your employment situation is – and telling prospective employers that you have nothing to hide.If you are willing to pay for new clothes, a new haircut, a resume-polishing, a job fair, an employment seminar, or a book on how to find a job, why not purchase a background check so you can see what potential employers will see BEFORE they see it? is a pioneer in consumer‐requested background check services and one of the first to use a secure web‐based ordering portal for individuals who wish to purchase a background check. We are a leader in the growing “Personal Information Management” movement and offer consumers control over their personal information, knowledge of who is viewing their reports, and a safe and easy way to share their information with anyone else they choose. To take control of your personal information with an account from, please visit us today at, email, or call 1‐800‐503‐2364.

UPDATE: In a report first aired September 29 on CNN (video here), reporter Gerri Willis interviewed a woman who described how her husband's dream job turned into a nightmare because of false information on his background check.

Don't Be A Victim! Get a "Personal Background Check!

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L.A. Hospital Fails to Act on Criminal Background Checks

by Desiree Bryant 7/18/2008 3:39:00 PM

A story featured in the L.A. Times (July 16, 2008) should be a wake up call to all employers who do not conduct background checks on current employees.

Sixteen employees were suspended from Martin Luther King Jr. – Harbor hospital when county officials found they had serious criminal histories. The criminal backgrounds were discovered last year, but the employees were not disciplined or relieved from duty by the hospital.

This leaves a serious question to be answered by employers, particularly those who have employees working closely with the community. Background checks need to be conducted before hire and periodically throughout employment. Failure to do so could cause harm to other employees and customers…and the bad publicity could result in the demise of your organization.

Click here to read our full article on current background check issues...

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