If you’re looking for a new job or preparing to rent a home, chances are that you’ll need to submit to a background check. Thanks to the availability of information in the digital age, background checks are now easy and affordable to carry out. Almost everyone will encounter one at some point. However, despite how common they are, many people aren’t aware of how they work. What makes for a good background check, and what factors might cause you to fail?
What constitutes a “bad” background check will greatly depend on who is doing the check and why. An employer who owns a restaurant, for example, will be looking for different red flags than someone who is running the background check for a high-level corporate position. The same could be said for a landlord who is considering you as a renter or a banker who is looking over your mortgage application. Although the reasons for the check might vary, there are a few issues that you want to avoid overall.
1. Criminal Record
In some situations, any criminal history will be a deal breaker. Other times, only serious crimes, or crimes that are relevant to the situation, will be taken into account. For example, if you’re applying for a job as a delivery driver, it won’t do you much good to have six speeding tickets on your driving record.
If you have a felony on your record, watch out. A felony crime will deter employers, landlords and banks alike. Those with felonies will need to do some serious research to find people willing to take a chance on them.
2. Bad Credit
As unfair as it might seem to be judged by your past credit history, both employers and especially landlords do take this into account. Landlords need to make sure that you’re capable of managing your finances and paying rent on a time. For renting and taking out loans, a few bad marks on your credit won’t necessarily disqualify you. However, they might result in higher interest rates or bigger deposit requirements.
When it comes to employment, severely bad credit might make you appear irresponsible, which could result in the employer passing on you in favor of someone with a better history.
3. Fake History
If you embellished about the length of time you stayed at your last job or lied about getting fired, you might be in for a rude awakening. Background checks show detailed information about your past work experiences. If you made a silly mistake and got fired for it, you’re better off being honest.
If you’re worried about a possible background check in the near future, one solution is to conduct one on yourself. That way, you’ll be able to see what you’re dealing with and come up with a strategy to spin things in your favor.