If you’ve recently had a job interview, and you’ve found out that your potential employer will be conducting a background check or pre-employment screening, it is important you prepare for this just as you prepared for your interview.
Understanding what is in a background check can enable you to pro-actively prepare as part of your strategy for employment search. When an employer requests a background check from a Private Investigator, you'll have a better idea of what will be discovered and more confident about how you will look to your potential employer.
So what is involved in a background check? Investigators will most likely look into the following things:
- Your Identity
- Your Education
- Your Financial & Credit History
- Your Driving Records
- Criminal Records
- Online Presence
So what are the steps you can take to prepare for this investigation into your background?
Clean Up Your Online Presence
This is the easiest way for you to make sure your background check comes up clean. Google yourself and see what comes up. Clean up your social media profiles, especially your LinkedIn and Facebook pages. On LinkedIn, your work history should match exactly what you’ve said on your resume.
As part of the hiring process you should be able to confirm your identity without hunting around for the information you need. Keep at hand proof of identity such as your passport, driver's license and social insurance card.
Employers may want to confirm your educational credentials, so be pro-active and order transcripts of your degrees, diplomas and important certificates. It's a good idea to keep a folder of documentation about courses you have attended or important conferences.
Financial & Credit History
If you are going to be put in charge of or responsible for money or company finances, your prospective employer may investigate your credit history. In Canada contact Equifax or Trans Union Canada to request a copy of your credit report. Take care of any issues right away so you know things are clear beforehand. You may need to confirm previous earnings with a T4, so be prepared to produce a T4 or your Notice of Assessment.
Criminal Record Checks
If you are applying for a position that requires a high security level or will be working directly with the public, you can obtain a Certified Criminal Record check from the RCMP and have this in your file. It is a good idea to verify this information is accurate before your employer pulls it up, just in case there are discrepancies that need to be corrected.
Give Friends, Families, and Coworkers a Heads Up
It is a good idea when you know that a background check will be performed on you to alert the people around you who may be contacted as part of the search. Give them a heads up that they may be contacted so they are prepared.
Discrepancies raise questions - and having a clear, consistent, authenticated story is so much better than trying to explain why sources of information about you, are not aligned.
Mark Swartz, Monster Senior Contributing Writer, writes - What you need to know before Potential Employers Investigate you, on this subject.
"Have you made an employer’s short-list in a job hunt lately? If you’re one of the finalist candidates – or the chosen applicant – the employer may want to conduct a background check on you before bringing you on board. Your work history, identity, financial, and criminal status may be scrutinized as part of the process.
Employers who conduct background checks want to confirm details about you and see if you present a risk to them. Being prepared will help you avoid any nasty surprises. After all the work you’ve done to get this far, you don’t want to let incorrect or missing information prevent you from getting that great new job."
The Renwick Group has experience working with many different types of businesses and organizations providing skip-tracing, fraud investigations, WSIB support, legal team assistance, evidence gathering, employee background checks, and more. We also work with individuals who need help with personal matters. Call us at 1 (888) 722-9807 or visit our website for information.