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Need a Job? You'll Need to Pass a Background Check

by Tom Ahearn 5/14/2009 12:42:00 PM

If you are one of the estimated 14 million "officially" unemployed people in the U. S., you probably have tried just about everything to find work. Resume polishing, job fairs, interview tips, and an impressive new suit or dress can help, but in the end all of those efforts – and expenditures – will not matter if you cannot pass a background check.

Times are indeed tough for jobseekers. According to recent Labor Department reports, unemployment rates have reached their highest figures in a quarter of a century with approximately 5.7 million jobs having been lost since the recession began in December 2007. Even worse, some experts say that the job market – especially with the recent layoffs in the auto industry – may get worse before it gets better.

With a growing number of jobseekers competing in a rapidly expanding pool of qualified competitors, employers can – and most surely will – be very selective when it comes to pre-employment screening. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that more than 85% of large companies and a rapidly growing number of smaller employers currently perform some form of background checks.

From entry level to the executive suite, the majority of jobs these days require a background check, so most of the 14 million people currently looking for work will likely undergo one. What exactly is in a background check? It depends on the job or the industry, but most basic background checks include:

  • Social Security Number (SSN) Address Trace
  • Criminal Record Search
  • Sex Offender Registry Search
  • Employment & Education Verification
  • Professional License Verification (if applicable)

Jobseekers should be ready for their background checks before actually undergoing the process. A job offer can be taken away because of a failed background check, even if the reason for that failure was false, erroneous, or inaccurate information uncovered during the background check. Many jobseekers have had this happen to them, many never knowing what was uncovered or even having the opportunity to explain.

There are several types of errors made during background checks, but the five most common mistakes are:

  • Mistaken Identity
  • Wrong Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Identity Theft & Fraud
  • Incomplete or Missing Information
  • Illegal Information

To ensure that their background check will be based on the most current and accurate data, jobseekers need to know first-hand what is included in their personal information and if it contains mistakes. To do this, they must first perform a “personal” background check on themselves to see if their data contains errors, inaccuracies, discrepancies, or incomplete/missing information.

While background checks performed by employers on prospective employees is standard procedure, jobseekers requesting background checks on themselves to better their chances of getting hired is a recent trend. These “personal checks” provide employers with validation of resume contents, ensures that public records are accurate, and helps individual jobseekers stand out from the growing pack of applicants.

While most background check companies focus exclusively on employers, was one of the first consumer background check services available online and has performed over one million background checks on individuals – including jobseekers – worldwide. For more information, visit, email, or call 1-800-503-2364.

Download FREE Article "Is Your Background Check Costing You A Job? The Five Most Common Mistakes & How To Correct Them" (.PDF File)

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7/5/2009 12:31:23 AM #

I thinks its a very good step taken.These days many fraud cases are coming up at least by this there will some decrease in such cases

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8/6/2009 5:47:16 PM #

I think that background checks are very important given the rise of ID thefts in this country.

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8/8/2009 6:57:11 AM #

Most employers are giving background checks to their employees and potential employees. You are right that there are many fraud and mistaken identity cases out there. It is best to be on the safe side and submit your own before applying for a job.

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9/15/2009 12:35:26 AM #

Now this is hghly recommeded post for me. I will surely email this to my friend.



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10/25/2009 3:30:58 PM #

And a thorough one too. BCs should be undertaken with pinpoint precision and diligence so as to get as much needed information about an individual. It might lead to something very crucial.

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10/31/2009 6:10:05 AM #

I have seen many people lose a job they had locked up because of background checks. I have also seen some employers dodge some HUGE bullets with background checks. History doesn't lie.

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11/26/2009 1:55:24 AM #

Background checks are one of the most important tools that employers have to make sure they are getting the individual they are interviewing, and not someone just lying to get the job.

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