If you’re applying for a job, housing, or a loan, you may be asked to undergo a background check. A background check is a process that involves looking at your criminal record, credit history, and other personal information to determine your suitability for a particular job or opportunity. In this article, we’ll explore what comes up in a background check and what you can expect.
The Basics of a Background Check
A background check typically includes a review of your criminal record, employment history, education, credit history, and other personal information. The extent of the check will depend on the type of opportunity you’re seeking and the requirements of the organization conducting the check. For example, if you’re applying for a job as a bank teller, you can expect a thorough background check that includes a review of your credit history and any past criminal activity.
Criminal Record Check
One of the most important aspects of a background check is a criminal record check. This involves looking at your criminal history to determine if you’ve been convicted of any crimes. The types of crimes that can show up on a background check include misdemeanors, felonies, and even traffic violations. If you have a criminal record, it’s important to be honest about it during the application process.
Employment History Check
Another important aspect of a background check is an employment history check. This involves looking at your past employment to determine if you’ve been fired or have a history of job hopping. This information can be used to determine your reliability and dependability as an employee.
If you claim to have a college degree or other educational credentials, your potential employer may conduct an education verification to confirm your qualifications. This may involve contacting the educational institution you attended to confirm your degree or requesting transcripts.
Credit History Check
A credit history check is typically conducted for jobs that involve financial responsibility, such as banking or accounting. This involves looking at your credit report to determine if you have a history of financial irresponsibility or delinquent accounts.
What Can’t Be Included in a Background Check?
Although a background check can provide a lot of information about a person, there are certain things that can’t legally be included. For example, an employer can’t discriminate based on your race, gender, religion, or age. Additionally, some states have laws that prohibit the use of certain criminal records in employment decisions.
Expunged Criminal Records
If you’ve had a criminal record expunged, it generally can’t be included in a background check. Expunged records are those that have been sealed or destroyed by court order. However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as if you’re applying for a job in law enforcement or in a sensitive security clearance position.
If you’ve filed for bankruptcy, it generally can’t be included in a background check. Bankruptcies are a matter of public record, but they can’t be used to discriminate against you in employment or other opportunities.
What Happens if Something Negative Shows Up in a Background Check?
If something negative shows up in a background check, it’s important to be honest and upfront about it. If you try to hide or lie about your past, it can be grounds for disqualification or termination. However, if you’re honest and explain the circumstances surrounding the negative information, you may still have a chance at the opportunity.
Appealing a Background Check
If you believe that a background check has produced inaccurate or unfair results, you may be able to appeal the decision. This may involve providing additional evidence or documentation to support your case.
In conclusion, a background check is a comprehensive review of your personal information and history. It can include a review of your criminal record, employment history, education, credit history, and other personal information. If you’re applying for a job, housing, or a loan, it’s important to understand what comes up in a background check and be prepared to answer any questions that may arise. By being honest and upfront about your past, you can increase your chances of success in your endeavors.