Monday, August 1, 2022

Can You “Edit” your Background Check?

Is it possible to “edit” or change your background check report?

This question was recently asked on a popular Q & A site and it got us thinking.

Do people really think they can change the results of a background check report to either make it more “favorable” or correct any errors?

So we decided to weigh in, and here is our answer…

“If you mean can you question or dispute any of the findings contained in a background check, then the answer is Yes. It doesn’t matter whether the investigating company is HireRight or another screening service, you have the right to dispute the findings contained in that check.

However, you cannot simply “edit” that report yourself. If you find that your background check report contains errors, you need to immediately inform the employer that the report has errors. In fact, it is your right to not only dispute the findings but have the chance prove the findings are false or provide information to mitigate them.

The FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) requires employers to follow a specific process when they are confronted with information that might negatively impact their hiring decision.

Before making a final decision, Employers must:

Notify you, in writing, that negative information was found during your background check.

Provide you with a copy of the background check report, including contact information for the company that provided the report.

Provide you with a copy of “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act”.

Allow you a minimum of 5 business days to provide proof that the information found is in error or mitigate the findings with additional information.

So, while you cannot simply “edit” a background check, you have every right to refute the findings and have the chance to prove they are in error”.

The fact is that, unfortunately, background check errors do happen! 

Job seekers can find themselves confronted with misinformation found in their background checks. They are then forced to prove not only that the findings wrong, but also to keep these errors from popping up again. This can be stressful and hard to do.

It is simply not possible for you to go in and “edit” or alter any information contained in your report after the fact. And while 

So, if you are looking for a job, or even being offered a promotion, it is best that you learn how to tackle this potential issue head on. And while it is your right to dispute and “fix” any errors in your background check, the better course of action is to be pro-active instead!

Be Proactive! Check your Background Check report for errors before you apply for any job!

“The best way is to Do a Background Check on Yourself before you ever even start your job search!

Hiring delays are never in your or an employer’s best interest. The wait keeps you both in limbo. You are stalled in your job search and the employer is unable to hire for the position they need. 

Taking the time before you apply to make sure that any information “out there” about you is factual simply makes sense for you both!

It will prevent you from being unduly surprised and allow the employer to more quickly get the information they need to make an informed hiring decision. 

By pre-doing a background check on yourself, you will be able to see exactly what an employment background check will uncover and give you the opportunity to double check the results and see if they are accurate”.

Once you receive your report, it is essential that you check it for any and all errors. 

Possible errors may include:

  • Misspellings of your name
  • Incorrect or Missing Date of Birth
  • Missing or Incorrect Social Security Number
  • Incorrect Past Addresses
  • Criminal Charges attributed to you in error

If you find any discrepancies, then now is the time to fix them….and here is where you need to have proof.

This proof should include:

  • Documents listing your legal name
  • A full list of your past addresses and your dates of residence at each
  • If incorrect criminal history is found ~ obtain a copy of the record directly from the court and find out how you can get any errors corrected
  • If education /degree history is in error ~ contact the school/university directly to get the record corrected and obtain a report from them that shows your updated/corrected information

And then make sure that your resume is “Background Check Ready” moving forward. Find out more in “Errors in your Background Check Report? Find out what You need to do Now”!

Background Check errors do occur. That is why your best bet is to know what is “out there” about you and fix any problems before you even apply for any new job or promotion.

Not only will it save you unnecessary worry and frustration, it will increase the chances of getting the job!


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Monday, June 27, 2022

Do You really know what a former Employer will say about You?

Do you really know what a former employer will say about you? 

While some may know exactly what information a former or current employer will share, many are most likely not sure.

So, when this question was posed on Quora.com, we decided to weigh in!

"Employers can choose to reveal anything about you, your work performance, and even reason for leaving as long as it is the truth! However, that doesn’t mean that they will! Due to fear of litigation, many employers choose to only verify a former employee’s dates and title of employment. Some will also share whether that person is eligible for rehire. But what they will share is all dependent upon company policy and is not necessarily consistent company to company. However, a good background check professional will check and develop references to “fill in the gaps”. That means they will question not only the references listed by an applicant, but also ask those references for another source they could contact who has knowledge about the applicant’s work history and job performance. The best thing any job applicant can do is to know beforehand what a former employer will say about them and choose their references wisely. And both of these can be accomplished by doing a background check on themselves long before they ever apply for a job".

Check out other answers to this question here!

While our answer is accurate, it only went so far. There is much more you should know and consider when it comes to what a company representative can or will say concerning your employment.

Some states and localities actually have statutes addressing this issue, while others do not. And even among areas that have regulations the guidelines can vary.

However, there is some information that past employers commonly reveal. These are your start and finish dates and your job title. For a growing number of companies, this is the extent of the information they will provide. Some others may also include your reason for leaving and whether you are eligible for rehire.

Many states have regulations that outline the information a previous employer can reveal. These may cover things like requiring a signed release or limiting the information provided. In some instances, employers that follow these guidelines are then protected from being sued for defamation.

Then there are also states and localities that have no limitations at all or where information can only be provided to certain types of businesses ~ hospitals, home health agencies, banks, public utilities, transportation companies, and contractors.

So, what can you do to give yourself a heads up on what past employers will share?

Do a little research! Find out the laws in your state and locality governing employer background check guidelines, along with any state and locality where you may have worked!

But despite “best practices” and legal regulations, can you really be 100% sure that you know what a former employer will say about you? That is why your best course of action is to take the time to do a Background Check on yourself first!

Discover how here!

But taking these steps is only part of it. You also need to be ready with a great list of contacts and references for each position you have held, and know how to choose those sources wisely!

Many companies will ask for a list of references and/or supervisor names to verify your employment and even act as a general source to speak to your character. It is important for you to create this list carefully. 

Don’t fall prey to one of the biggest mistakes a job seeker can make ~ listing your former employers, supervisors, or professors as references without asking them first!

This simple step can save you from the embarrassment of a less-than-stellar recommendation and give your references a most welcome heads up.

In fact, this common courtesy can greatly increase your chances of getting the job.  

7 Tips for getting the Best References

Make a ListTake a look at your resume and for each employer, list your managers, supervisors, and even relevant co-workers. Include any internships or volunteer positions you may have had as these can be great sources.

Check it Twice ~ take a hard look at who you listed. Keep those that know you and your work well, and eliminate the others. Strive to have 2 or 3 quality references for each of your jobs listed.

Spread the Word ~ Get in touch with each of the people you plan to list as a reference to see if they are willing to help you. It at all possible, go see them in person or phone them. Rely on email only as a last resort.

Fill in the Details ~ Once you have your final list, it is time fill them in on the details.  Make sure they know the job you are seeking and with what company. It is also helpful to give them a quick rundown of the skills they are looking for in the job description.

Do a Double Check ~ Make sure that you have up to date contact information for each of your references. Confirm their current company and job title. Also be sure to ask them the best way to reach them ~ at work, on their cell ~ and list that as the main contact number.

The Final Draft ~ create your stellar reference list. Include all pertinent information for each reference ~ name, company & title, contact number and email. It is also good to list the dates you worked with them and where.

A Thank You goes a Long Way ~ Sending a thank you note to your references is a great way to show them your appreciation, and to let them know if you landed the job. Even if you were not successful, this little gesture will ensure their help as you continue your job search. 

Learn more about each of these tips and making the most of your references here!

So, if you wonder what a former employer can or will say about you, your best course of action is to do your homework and find out long before you ever apply for a job. Contacting them directly and choosing your sources and references carefully will not only give you peace of mind it will increase your chances of landing the job. 


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Monday, June 6, 2022

Steps You should take Now to find your first “Real Job”!

This is the time of year when graduates are hitting the job market. Whether it is from high school, college, or even a great trade school, they all have one thing in common ~ they are ready for their first “Real Job”!

The question now is how and where do you begin?

The short answer is this ~ do your research, don’t forget to network, and be ready to “sell” yourself!

The key is to approach finding a job much like you did getting ready for exams. Preparation, studying, and a great mind set are what will get you through.

And it all starts with following these tips ~

Make sure your Resume is “Background Check Ready”. The majority of employers will do some type of background check before making their hiring decision. There is simply no point in applying for any job until all the information listed in your resume is accurate and contains no “red flags”. 

You need to:

  • Make sure your resume is “clean”
  • Never list a degree, diploma, or certification you haven’t earned
  • make sure all past employments are accurate
  • Know in advance what your past employers / references will say about you
  • Be ready to mitigate any employment “gaps” or inaccuracies
  • Do a background check on yourself first

Remember, the key to any good resume is to make sure it is first and foremost a way to market You to your new employer. And starting with any kind of discrepancies is not the way to go!

Learn more in “Tips to Help you get your resume background check ready”!

Create Your Professional Online Presence and Clean Up your existing Profiles Are you on LinkedIn? This social network is a must for creating a professional persona. Create a profile that is not simply a list of your credentials. Make it interesting! Put the focus on sharing “you”, what makes you unique, and what drives you (there are a lot of great tips out there to make your LI profile shine). 

Now check out your existing social profiles. Take the time to give them a good, hard look and remove anything questionable that could result in a bad impression of you.   

Asking yourself these questions BEFORE you post anything online is the wise way to go.

  • What do your Social Profiles say about You?
  • Do they show you in a good light?
  • Have you shared things you are not proud of?
  • Do they highlight the best things about you?
  • Would You be Proud to Share Them?

Remember, what you post online can impact your job search. Learn more in “Discover how your Social Media Posts can keep you from getting the Job You Want”.

Bottom line, employers are bound to look! So make sure your social profiles are up to par!

Focus Your Job search - but not too narrowly! Only applying for jobs that fit you exactly, or throwing your net too wide, is not the way to get the job you want.

Instead, create a job search strategy that keeps in mind your goals, skills, and interests. No one job may fit them all. But, as long as you are focused on finding something where you can explore your interests and where you can contribute, you will be adding something valuable to your professional work experience. 

Use Your Connections You may not think you have any, but think again. Did you have any summer jobs or internships? A former supervisor might be the perfect person to help you meet someone who can help you find a job.  

How about reaching out to your family or friends? Let them know you are looking to start your career and they may have some suggestions.

And don’t forget your university’s Alumni network. Many universities forge strong connections among their Alumni. Join and stay active.  

Use your College’s Resources Does your university have a career center? Check it out! You will find a variety of resources that will help you with your resume and job search. Many universities also host job fairs. This is a great way to check out many different companies at once.

Don’t be afraid to get out and network!  

Seek out local professional associations and attend networking events. Be ready to tell people what you do (or want to do) and what you have done to get yourself ready. But don’t forget to listen first! Going in with a pitch without showing a genuine interest in others will put people off.

Research Companies Before You Apply Do your homework. Check out their company website. Make sure you understand the company “brand”, how they started, and what they do. Find them on LinkedIn and other social networks. 

They will be screening you, and you need to screen them in much the same way. Any information you find will also help you prepare for your interview. Learning all you can about your target companies just makes sense.

Pay Attention to Application “Rules” Many jobs you apply for will require online applications. Be sure to follow all instructions carefully ~ remember, this will often be your first impression!

But no matter what method they use to collect their applications, in all cases you need to pay close attention to neatness, spelling, clarity, and legibility. Losing out on a possible interview due to sloppiness or an incomplete application will not get you the interview you need.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Thank You If you are lucky enough to be called in for an interview, then you know that they are at least interested in what they have seen on your resume/application. The interview will simply be the next step in finding out if you are a good fit. This is where your company research will come in handy.

Be sure to be ready with tangible examples of problems you have solved, what you have learned, and why you want to work for them.  Making sure they understand what you will bring to their company is important.

But no matter how well the interview went, it can all be erased unless you remember the Power of a Thank You!

Not only should you thank them in person on the day of the interview, you need to follow up with a thank you email to anyone you met with throughout the day.

Be sure to express your thanks to them for taking the time to meet with you. It is also a good idea to personalize each thank you with any specifics you may have discussed during your interview. Making them more “personal” can go a long way in making a good impression.

Consider Continuing Your Education (Grad School), Taking an Internship, or Volunteering. If you are still not getting anywhere in finding a job, then you may have to consider some alternatives.

If you believe grad school is in your future, then take a look at some programs that will further your professional skills. In fact, it is sometimes easier to simply continue on and complete the education you need before getting a job. You are still comfortable with studying, exams, and all the other things that go along with going to school. 

And if you haven’t already had an internship, it is not too late to find one. This can be a great way to increase your “real world” skills and extend your connections.

Do You Volunteer? Now can be the perfect time to start. Not only will it make you more invested in your community, it is a valuable addition to any resume.

Be Patient Don’t get discouraged. It will take time to land your first job, or even to get an interview. This is not a reflection on you. Just stay focused on being positive.

Most new grads and job seekers will apply for dozens of jobs and many will never even receive a response. Remember, everyone goes through it and we all had to start somewhere.

Check out “Attention New Grads ~ What you need to do to land your first job!” to find information on how to best accomplish your goals!

It takes work to find a good job and how you approach that search can make all the difference. Doing everything you can before you even apply to prepare yourself is key!


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Sunday, April 24, 2022

Can what You post on Social Media effect your Job?

 

Do you post on Social Media? Could what you post be considered “controversial”? Then you need to read this…

The following question was recently asked on Quora, a popular Q & A site, and we think it is worth sharing.

“What types of recourse do I have against people who contact my employers about things I have on Facebook?”.

Posting on social media sites has become more common than ever. And many are not at all shy about sharing their views on practically anything and everything, no matter how controversial the subject.

That is why when we came across this question, we knew it was time to weigh in, and here is our answer…..

“You have no recourse whatsoever. That is the nature of Facebook and other social sites. By using those sites you are choosing to put things “out there” about your life, your opinions, and more. If someone shares something with your employer that you willingly post, then that is on you. And if your employer believes that what you are posting can harm their business in any way, then you may face the consequences of your post. The exception (to this) would be if they were lying or were attributing something to you that you did not post. Otherwise, you have no standing to object. Your best bet is to be proactive instead. Change the settings on your social media accounts to private, “friends only”, etc. Don’t list your employer in your profile or at least make it visible to a select audience. And even better yet, be very careful what you post in the first place. Does it project what you want others to know about you? Will it cause an issue if your family, friends, or even your employer see it? Remember, every single thing you do online projects an image about you. Is it the one you want to share?”.

You can see the original question and other responses here!

Despite what you may think about the “fairness” or “morality” of someone sending your employer information concerning your social media posts, there is nothing illegal about it.

So it is best you face that fact and realize that what you post online can effect you, your job, and even your family.

You may argue that it shouldn’t be that way, but that doesn’t change the reality that it can and does!

That is why you need to understand the potential ramifications of what you post online and learn what you can do to mitigate your exposure.

First you should recognize that nothing you share on Social Media is ever really private!

“How Much of what You Post Online is Really Private? Should You be Concerned what is “Out There” About You? The answer? A Resounding YES!

Despite privacy settings, probably very little of what you post online is truly private. Do you know what friends or “online acquaintances” are posting or sharing online about you?

A hot topic is how employers use information on social media both during the hiring process and in dictating employee conduct. Questions revolve around how much of what is found can be used to either make employment decisions or be used to contain existing employee’s online behavior.

Your best course of action is to imagine anything you post could possibly be seen by a wide variety of people ~ your family, friends, neighbors, teachers, employers, and even those that are strangers to you. Using that as a guide, do you still want to share that post? Asking yourself that question BEFORE you share is the wise way to go.

Discover more about how employers use social media to make both hiring and retention decisions here!

Did you know....Your Social Media posts can get you Fired? "Tweet This"!

It is also important that you realize that what you post can impact your Job Search, future promotions, and even your educational goals.

“Did You Know that what you post on Social Media can have an impact on you not only today but in the future? It can effect your chances at getting into the right school, landing your dream job, getting promoted, or even keeping the job you have.

Your social media sites are increasingly being viewed by everyone from college admissions workers to employers and recruiters. What you have posted there is seen as a reflection of who you really are ~ above and beyond what is found on your application, resume, or even how you conduct yourself in the workplace. And especially problematic are the current prevalence of "keyboard warriors" who have no problem attacking others who disagree with their views, especially when it comes to hot topics like politics, religion, and even the COVID pandemic. 

Posts that show illegal, questionable, or even violent behavior may cause you to be passed over. Comments that attack, degrade, or threaten others put your character, and the possibility of that you may impact the company's image, in question. And if any of your posts or profiles contradict what you may have listed on your resume, this is certainly a “red flag” when it comes time to make you an offer.

Before you apply to college or for any job, you need to ask yourself some hard questions about your social profiles. In fact, they would be excellent questions to consider before you even post!

You should Ask Yourself ~

  • What do your Social Profiles say about You?
  • Do they show you in a good light?
  • Have you shared things you are not proud of?
  • Do they highlight the best things about you?
  • Would You be Proud to Share Them?

Learn more about how what you post on social media can effect your job search in “Discover how your Social Media Posts can keep you from getting the Job You Want”.

Social media sites can be a great way to stay in touch with friends, keep up with current news and sports, and even share and comment on issues that are important to us.

But you need to use it wisely. That means understanding that what you post can have consequences to you, your future, and your job. 


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