These days, many employers or landlords require their employees to pass a background check. This is especially true for positions that involve working with children or handling money. Being checked can feel invasive and stressful. Background checks can affect your ability to get a job, an apartment, or even a loan, which makes it important to understand how they work and what you can do to prepare for one.
There are a few things you can do to make sure that you pass a background check with flying colors:
Get your paperwork in order
If you’re looking for a job, the chances are good that you’ll have to pass a background check. And while there’s no guarantee that you’ll sail through this process without a hitch, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of success. First and foremost, get your paperwork in order.
This means having documents like a birth certificate, social security card, and driver’s license on hand. It would help if you also were prepared to provide any information about your education and employment history. Being organized and providing complete information will go a long way toward helping you pass a background check. In addition, it’s important, to be honest about your past.
Background checks are designed to turn up any red flags, so trying to hide something is only likely to worsen. Instead, be upfront about any skeletons in your closet and provide as much context as possible. With a little preparation and honesty, you can give yourself the best chance of passing a background check with flying colors.
Divulge any criminal history
Background checks are designed to uncover any criminal history that an applicant may have. As a result, applicants need to be honest about their criminal history when completing a background check.
Applicants should first obtain a copy of their criminal record. This can typically be done through a state-level website or by requesting a copy from the court where the offense was committed. Once the applicant has a copy of their criminal record, they should review it for accuracy. If there are any errors, the applicant can take steps to have the record corrected.
The applicant should answer all questions truthfully when completing the background check form. It is important to remember that omitting any information, even if it seems insignificant, can result in disciplinary action or even termination if the omission is discovered later. For example, an applicant who was convicted of a misdemeanor may not think that it is necessary to disclose this information. However, it could cause problems if it comes up later.
Know your rights
It is important to remember that you have rights when it comes to background checks. Many people don’t realize that there are a number of laws in place to protect applicant rights during the background check process. For example, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, employers are required to obtain written permission from job applicants before ordering a background check.
Additionally, employers must provide applicants with a copy of their report if it is used to make an adverse decision (such as not hiring the applicant). Finally, consumers have the right to request a free copy of their own background check report once every 12 months. By understanding their rights under the law, consumers can ensure that they are treated fairly during the background check process.
What to do if you fail a background check
If you fail a background check, the first thing you should do is request a copy of your report. This will help you to understand why you failed the check and whether there are any inaccuracies on your record. Once you have reviewed your report, you can take steps to correct any errors.
In some cases, an employer may be willing to overlook a minor infraction if the applicant is otherwise qualified for the position. However, it is important to remember that an employer is not required to hire you if you fail a background check.
If you are not hired because of your criminal history, you may have the option to appeal the decision.
Background checks are an important part of the hiring process for many employers. By being honest and upfront about your past and knowing your rights under the law, you can help ensure that your background check is conducted fairly and accurately.