Have you ever applied for a job, nailed the interview and then been surprised by a request for a background check? Most employers investigate your history to make sure you are who you say you are and that your references are valid. They may also look into your credit history to evaluate how responsible you are with finances. How can you ensure that the information the company finds about you is accurate? If you’re undergoing a background check in California, state law gives you the right to access the information that the employer sees and correct any errors or inaccuracies.
Prepare for a California background check
Before you provide your information to an employer for the sake of conducting a background check, do a little digging on your own.
• Check your credit – You can obtain a credit report to make sure that it does not include any false information. This is a good way to ensure that no one has stolen your identity. If you have been the victim of identity theft, the information an employer discovers on a background check may not even be about you.
• Obtain a driving record – Check DMV information to determine what data an employer will dig up about you and examine it for accuracy.• Search yourself – Your online reputation is extremely visible and easy for employers to access. Search for your name online and edit any unfavorable postings in social media sites or on public forums.
What to do with negative information
If you do have a history that paints you in a less-than-favorable light, don’t hide it. You don’t want the employer to be surprised by what comes up in a background check. Let your interviewer know about past mistakes. The key is to explain what you have learned from your errors and how you have grown. If your employer or potential boss has confidence that you are a trustworthy, reliable individual, you may still be in the running for the position.
If you refuse to provide consent for a background check, you can jeopardize your chances of getting hired. If you conduct your own research beforehand, however, you can prepare a potential employer for any negative information that may be found on your credit report. When authorizing the report, always ask for a copy. This can help you check for fraud and ensure that your employer is accessing the correct information about you. When you know what your background check will reveal, you can use your social and interview skills to paint yourself in the best light.