If youíre applying for a job today, the chances are excellent that you will have to pass a background check to get hired. In fact, over 90% of companies now run background checks on all applicants. Before you sit down to fill out that very important job application, here are 12 facts you might not know about background checks:
* According to Workforce Management, over 45 million background checks were run during the past year.
* Most companies use a candidateís job application, not resume, when running a background check.
* 86% of businesses say that inaccuracies on a job application can take a job candidate out of consideration.
* Half of all job applications contain discrepancies.
* Well-known people who were caught lying on their resumes and job applications:
o Dave Edmondsen Ė Chief executive of Radio Shack
o George Deutsch Ė Bush appointee at NASA
o Alan Seman Ė Mayor of Rancho Mirage
o George OíLeary Ė Notre Dame Football Coach
o Kenneth Lonchar Ė CFO at Veritas Software
* Companies generally donít tell applicants what types of information they are going to look at during a background check.
* Although many hiring companies do call references, they donít always call the ones supplied by the applicant.
* Most companies donít give an applicant a chance to correct negative information on a background report.
* The Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is the federal law that deals with background checks. In addition, each state can pass its own laws that cover pre-employment screening.
* Many states have passed laws that allow a former employer to speak candidly about previous employees.
* A recent study showed that over 40% of employers revealed more information about previous employees than what was required by law.
* There is no such thing as a national criminal database. There are databases that contain partial information, but there is no database that contains information on every crime committed in the U.S.
One of the most important things you can do is prepare for your background check. Make sure that your hire and termination dates are right. Explain any gaps in your employment history. Confirm that your records are available. Many people lose job opportunities because prospective employers canít verify their background. Remember, no matter how qualified you are, you wonít get hired if you donít pass the background check.
- Jan Maxwell is the author of ďA Job Hunterís Secret Weapon: How to Survive a Background Check and Get the Job You Really WantĒ http://www.jobhunterssecretweapon.com. Itís the first book that takes job applicants inside a real background check, explains how information gets verified, and shows them how to fill out a job application that will sail through pre-employment screening.
Jan Maxwell is a freelance writer and the author of "A Job Hunter's Secret Weapon: How to Survive a Background Check and Get the Job You Really Want "
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