When looking for a job or changing careers, the last thing you think of doing is your own background check. Instead, you’ll groom yourself, polish your resume, and prepare your responses. And if a background check does cross your mind, it’ll be the one your employer will pull on you. But although doing all the above will help, performing a background check on yourself could be beneficial in more ways than one. Here are a few reasons why you should review your own history before any interview.
What a Background Check Contains
Before we get into why you need a background check, let’s find out what it contains. What do employers want to see when they pull your record? The first thing that interests them is your criminal history, followed by your academic history, including GPA average, degree description, and graduation year.
Employers also want to see your driving record, especially any violations or suspensions. And, of course, they want to look into your employment history, which they then compare with your resume. Now that you know what checks entails, why should I perform an employment history check on myself, you ask?
The Checks Aren’t Always Accurate
Imagine walking into an interview, only for the recruiter to ask about an inaccurate criminal record of which you know nothing. Unfortunately, these mistakes happen more often than you think, mainly because of human error.
Police officers sometimes file convictions under the wrong name, especially if it’s a common one. Likewise, background checking companies sometimes mix up records. For this reason, checking your background lets you can catch these kinds of errors in time.
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Rectifying an Inaccurate Record Takes Time
When employers pass you over for a job because of a poor record, they must inform you and hand you a copy of the record. This way, you’ll have time to clear your name and eventually dispute the hiring decision. Although that sounds deceptively easy, rectifying an inaccurate record takes time.
Meanwhile, the hiring process will continue, and the employer might hand the position to another candidate. By the time you file a dispute, it’ll be too little, too late. Running an early check gives you time to rectify any errors before the interview date.
A Background Check Gives You an Edge
Now, what do you do when you have a poor but accurate record? Then performing a background check will give you an accurate picture of how employers will perceive you. This knowledge will allow you to choose the jobs you apply for more wisely. For instance, if you have a poor credit history, this could work against you if you’re applying for a job in finance. Or, traffic violations could hurt your chances of getting a job that involves driving. So, make sure that you look over your background history and see which positions are attainable – and which ones to avoid.
Performing your own background check gives you more control over the hiring process. You can correct any inaccurate information, prepare answers to difficult questions and, if you already have a poor record, apply for the right jobs.