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What is a Background Check?

A background check usually consists of consolidating a variety of employment, educational, criminal, financial, and other records about a candidate – for the purpose of evaluating that individual for employment purposes. It is a means of securing information about potential hires from sources other than the applicants themselves.

Depending on an employer’s criteria, a background check may investigate a candidate’s criminal records, education, employment history, credit history, motor vehicle and license records, and/or civil records.

In addition to a formal background check, employers may choose to do reference checks - these help to determine whether an applicant is qualified for a position. This generally involves contacting applicants' former employers, supervisors, co-workers and educators to verify previous employment and to obtain information about the candidate’s knowledge, skills, abilities and character.

Reasons for Conducting Background Checks

These are some vital reasons why employers do background checks:

How do Employers Conduct Background Checks?

Here are few steps on how companies do background checking:

Can a Background Check Ruin Your Job Prospects?

In short, the answer is yes. A background check is typically one of the final steps before employers decide whether to hire or not a certain candidate.

Here are some common reasons for an applicant being disqualified:

Now that you have an idea on the process of background check, make sure to save all updated contacts of your previous employers. This may either be an email address, phone number or any means of communication so when requested by your new employer you can provide them immediately. Don’t let this process spoil your job application, be honest from the very start and always leave a good impression when leaving a company. Remember, there's no such thing as a perfect employee, and companies know this. Don't let a background check for employment discourage you from applying to jobs.