Do You Need to Worry About What Shows Up on Your Employment Background Check? 4 Feb 2019


Imagine you’re waiting to be interviewed for a job. Are your palms sweaty? Is your heart racing? You worry a lot when interviewing for a job. You ask yourself endless questions: Do I have enough experience or education? Am I ready for any question they could throw at me? Even if you feel prepared, there’s one part of the application process that terrifies people: the background check.

You may be apprehensive about what your background check will uncover. Even simple issues can snowball because of inaccurate background checks. In Texas, a job applicant was denied a position when his background check incorrectly reported that his minor traffic offense was a drug trafficking charge.

On top of that, it’s hard to predict what’ll come up on a background check when each state has its own, distinct set of background check laws. This leads to the following questions. What shows up in a background check? How can you improve your background check results?

What Shows Up on Employment Background Checks?

The results hinge on the background checks your employer runs. Most employers use safety-based checks and add additional checks based on specific job duties or requirements. For example, the employer will run a license verification if the position calls for a professional license.

Reviewing the job duties and requirements will help you judge which reports your potential employer will run. Let’s look at what the most common checks reveal.

    • Criminal records checks consist of criminal convictions, but don’t usually show expunged convictions, arrests, or non-convictions.
    • Sex offender checks reveal if someone is currently a registered sex offender.
    • Terrorism checks check global terrorist watch lists to ensure candidates are not on them.
    • Identity verification verifies applicant identity by comparing basic information like name, address, date of birth, and SSN.
    • Education verification shows an applicants schooling. For example, if they have a postsecondary degree, what college they received it from, and what they majored in.
    • Work history verifications affirm where the applicant worked, the job’s start and end dates, job title, and what their duties were.
    • License verifications confirm the applicant’s professional licenses, expiration date, and reveal if there are any restrictions on it.
    • Credit reports include the applicant’s history of bankruptcies, loans, foreclosures, and credit accounts.
    • Driving records checks look for traffic violations, verify license type, and reveal any license restrictions or endorsements.
    • Drug testing checks if the applicant has illegal drugs or controlled substances in their system.

These all seem like reasonable background checks. So, is there really anything to be worried about with background checks?

Why You Should Care About Background Checks?

Background checks uncover a lot, and a less than stellar history might make you anxious. Another concern may be an inaccurate background check, especially if this has been an issue in the past. These issues are a concern for anyone in the market for a new job.

Thankfully, you can improve your background check results and your anxiety. What can you do to calm your nerves and improve your results?

How Can You Improve Your Background Check Results and Your Anxiety?

Person pleased with their employment background check results

Don’t stress about your background check report. Here are some ways you can boost your confidence.

  • Be truthful on your application and in the interview. Lies are an immediate problem for any employer. If you’re unsure about the answer to a question, be frank with the interviewer.
  • Understand your rights. Review your state’s background check laws and your rights under the FCRA. You can review your state’s background check laws by consulting legal websites or a lawyer. Inform yourself of what an employer can use and what they cannot.
  • If you have a problematic past, explain the circumstances to the employer. Many employers will take into account the efforts made to your situation.
  • Run a background check on yourself and verify the results. This will show you If something is incorrect. That way you can file a dispute with the screening company and get it corrected.

At Trusted Employees, we help run comprehensive background checks. We help employers and applicants create checks tailored for their needs. Contact us today to learn more.