Checking Employment and Education History

Checking employment and education history are standard procedures in a background check, and a pre employment background check verifies this information with that on a resume.

     A potential employee wants to be the best candidate and standout among a large pool of candidates. Standing out in a group of large applicants, especially a group screened first by a computer before a human resource representative reads the resume, can lead candidates to not be truthful about their experience, whether it is exaggerating about where he or she worked, the duties of past positions, and degrees acquired. Such examples of resume padding include a candidate misrepresenting his educational background by stating he finished college when he never did, adding a masters degree when he only received a bachelors, or even listing another major – journalism instead of English literature, for example. Similarly for employment, a candidate can inflate his salary or hourly amount, list he had a promotion when he never had one, and possibly misrepresent about dates of employment.

     While resumes and interviews can screen out certain candidates, a background check can screen even further to take out candidates who are misrepresenting their skill levels. After all, an employer wants to have the best qualified, most responsible employee possible. When an employer runs a background check on a candidate, two aspects of his past history checked are his education and employment. This simply verifies the information on a candidate’s resume – or it can reveal certain discrepancies.

     When previous employers are checked, the information showing up in a background check includes the name, location, and telephone number of a previous employer, as well as contact information for a supervisor. Other information includes the candidate’s dates of employment, as well as his ending job title and salary. An employer may also leave a comment about the worker’s work ethic and attendance.

     The education section of a background check is similar to the listing of previous employers, only the report checks the information listed in the resume to the information listed by the school. Each school the candidate attended has its name, location, and telephone number listed, as well as the dates of the candidate’s attendance, major, type of degree earned, and if he or she graduated. Occasionally, the registrar’s office may leave a comment in regards to the amount of credits earned and graduation status.

The Importance of Your Driving Record in Employment

A background check involves driving history records, even if the job isn’t a driving-related one, as a driving record can indicate personal responsibility.

     While a driving record may seem like the defining feature in driving jobs, including truck drivers and package drivers, a driving record in a background check is another indicator of a candidate’s responsibility. Similar to a criminal background check, a driving record lists all types of vehicle related offenses, including any alcohol or drug-related offenses and accidents. As the ideal candidate for a company is one who is responsible in all aspects, from his own work to team projects, a driving record is another section of a pre-employment background check that can indicate how responsible a person has been.

     The information in the driving records portion of a pre-employment background check includes much of the information already on a candidate’s driver’s license: a license number with the state and dates of issue and expiration. In addition, any driving violations are listed, as well, including DUIs and other alcohol-related accidents or incidents. The number of driving offenses is also listed, as well as the points resulting from the violation. The violations that can appear are traffic violations, fines, accidents, and convictions.

     While a driving record can simply reiterate any offenses listed in a criminal background check, it can also show that you’re an irresponsible and dangerous driver – and have the potential to be an irresponsible and dangerous employee not only with the company car but also in assignments, projects, and group responsibilities. Similarly, even if you pass a drug test, a history of drug or alcohol related driving offenses can indicate to your employer a history of drugs and excessive drinking. As with other aspects of a background check, a clean driving record is another indicative aspect of a responsible potential employee. While a candidate for a driving job will need to have a spotless driving record, candidates for non-driving jobs should also attempt to have as clean a driving history as possible.

How Thorough is a Criminal Background Check?

Criminal history is part of a pre employment background check, and a criminal background check is a background investigation of criminal history in multiple locations.

     The criminal portions of a background check examine your criminal records in your current state, other states, and in the counties you have lived in over the past seven to ten years. For all locations, the three pieces of information that are accessed are arrest records, criminal court records, and corrections records. Criminal court records are a compilation of court records from local, state, and federal courts, while a corrects record lists anytime you spent in jail, be it one night or more than five years. In addition, many criminal background checks have section for state criminal repository records, which lists all arrests, criminal court records, and corrections records on a state level.

     While not all states are available for criminal records of an individual, a background check will access criminal information in all available states. Similarly, a background check lists the counties of residence for an individual from the past seven to ten years. An individual’s criminal history will be examined in all locations he or she lived over seven to ten years.

     The typical crimes that appear in a criminal background check include felonies, misdemeanors, warrants, sex offender listings, civil high court charges, and civil low court charges. Out of these charges, more specific charges include drug traffic violations, embezzlements, fraud violations, theft, grand theft, child abuse, domestic violence, assault and battery, and divorce records.

     In applying for a job, an individual should be honest about his or her past record, and lying on a job application can always be verified by a background check. In some cases, lying about a past criminal record is considered a crime. In terms of an expunged record, an employer is not allowed to research or find out about any charges that were dropped. A charge is considered dropped when it is dismissed, nullified, if you were found not guilty, or if you completed an accelerated rehabilitation program. When you have multiple charges for the same offense, not all similar charges will be dropped.

Credit Reports as Part of a Pre-Employment Background Check

A background check involves a credit history report, but pre employment background checks include more information than just credit for employment.

     Part of any background check may involve a credit check, but, in order to obtain and use this information, employers need to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, particularly sections 604, 606, and 615. As a background check is used for pre-employment screening and then later for promotions during employment, an employer obtaining this information must first make sure such a report is prepared by a consumer reporting agency (CRA). This report will have a list of credit payment records, driving records, and criminal history. In some cases, a more thorough report will be done, called an investigative consumer report. An investigative report will involve a CRA interviewing an individual’s family, friends, neighbors, and associates.

     But before a consumer report is prepared, the individual must be notified in writing and that individual must give written authorization. If the individual does not give written authorization for an employer or potential employer to conduct a consumer report, obtaining a report is illegal.

     Once the individual gives his or her signature and a report is obtained and reviewed, an employer can deny an individual based on the information found in the report. However, in denying an individual for adverse action that individual must be given a pre-adverse action disclosure including a copy of the report and a copy of “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.” In addition, the individual must be given notice that the action taken has been in adverse action.

     Before giving a consumer report, a CRA will require that you, an employer, certify you are in compliance with FCRA and that you will not misuse any information enclosed in the report. In the case of non-compliance, an individual can sue in federal court for damages and seek punitive damages for deliberate violations.

How to Make Sure You Comply with FCRA

A credit check is standard for a background check, but certain rules complying with FCRA need to be followed for a pre-employment screening.

     Part of any background check involves a credit check, but, in order to obtain and use this information, employers need to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, particularly sections 604, 606, and 615. As a background check is used for pre-employment screening and then later for promotions during employment, an employer obtaining this information must first make sure such a report is prepared by a consumer reporting agency (CRA). This report will have a list of credit payment records, driving records, and criminal history. In some cases, a more thorough report will be done, called an investigative consumer report. An investigative report will involve a CRA interviewing an individual’s family, friends, neighbors, and associates.

     But before a consumer report is prepared, the individual must be notified in writing and that individual must give written authorization. If the individual does not give written authorization for an employer or potential employer to conduct a consumer report, obtaining a report is illegal.

     Once the individual gives his or her signature and a report is obtained and reviewed, an employer can deny an individual based on the information found in the report. However, in denying an individual for adverse action that individual must be given a pre-adverse action disclosure including a copy of the report and a copy of “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.” In addition, the individual must be given notice that the action taken has been in adverse action.

     Before giving a consumer report, a CRA will require that you, an employer, certify you are in compliance with FCRA and that you will not misuse any information enclosed in the report. In the case of non-compliance, an individual can sue in federal court for damages and seek punitive damages for deliberate violations.