A Little Bit of Background

Background check results are more important in hiring decisions than they have ever been. Employers are also using screenings on an ongoing basis during employment. Inaccurate information, however, is a real issue, and certain research organizations have determined that anywhere from 46% to 79% of background checks include factual errors. Employers will not know if the data is incorrect, thus, it is important for individuals to research their own background reports.

You can contract with a background checking company to prepare a report on you (look for those accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners), or you can conduct the research yourself:

  • Check criminal records and driving records for every place you have lived.
  • Check your educational records at the National Student Clearinghouse.
  • Check your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies and follow their instructions to request corrections or publish a notice of incorrect information on your report.
  • Check online search results of your name and variations of your name on a regular basis. For more comprehensive results, perform the search “as a guest” in your web browser so that the results are not affected by your past search history. Online services are available that will monitor mentions of your name.

In addition to the steps above, be proactive with creating a positive online presence. Consider hiring a company that specializes in online reputation management or search online for ideas and steps you can take to manage your own online existence.