Sunday, November 20, 2022

It's a Time for Giving Thanks...

It’s the Time of Year for Giving Thanks…

While we believe in being thankful each and every day, this time of year we want to take a moment to give special thanks to those that go above and beyond to bless our lives and give it meaning.

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives” John Fitzgerald Kennedy

We give thanks to…

Our Family ~ Your love and support encourages and strengthens us. We wouldn’t want to live this life surrounded by anyone else. Simply put, you bring us immeasurable Joy!


Our Friends ~  You are always there to listen, sympathize, and celebrate with us every step of the way! We truly thank you!

Our Colleagues and Business Friends ~ You are there whenever we need advice or someone to listen. Your support helped us through many trying times. We are grateful to you beyond measure.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend”  Melody Beattie

Our Clients ~ Without you, we would be nothing. We appreciate your loyalty more than you will ever know. We are forever grateful!

Without each and every one of you in our corner, we would never have been able to keep this business going for 26 years! We are blessed.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words but to live by them”

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


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Sunday, October 30, 2022

Can an Employer ask You for access to your Phone and Social Media Accounts?

Can an Employer make an employee give them access to their phone and social media accounts during an Investigation?

This question recently popped up on a popular Q & A site, and we decided to weigh in, and here is our response…

“If by “investigation” you mean the employment background check, then the answer is No! Potential employers do not have the right to your passwords, phone, etc. However, they are entitled to look at any of your social media that is labeled “Public”, or even posts that your “friends” have shared that include you. That is why it is so important to be cautious about anything you post online, especially when you are in the midst of a job search!

Now, if by “investigation” you mean a company investigation into potential criminal activity or actions that violate company policy, then while the answer is still “No”, there are exceptions. Companies have every right to access all information that is on company property, and that includes company laptops, computers, and phones. When it comes to personal devices, then most likely they would need a court order to compel you to provide the access needed".

See the original question and additional answers here!

When it comes to your personal devices and social media accounts, employers do not have the right to require or force you to give them access. Your passwords are private and they should never even ask you to share them.

But that does not mean that they can’t do an online search to see what is “out there” about you in the public domain.

That is why it is so important to be aware of what you post on social media sites and who you share it with.

No matter what precautions you take, people, and that includes employers, can often see more than you realize! That is why it is so important to be proactive and to recognize your rights when it comes to your passwords and social media accounts.

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

Most employers or their agents run an applicant’s name through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. to see what is “out there”. For this reason, we recommend any job seeker do a Background Check on themselves prior to putting out that first application.

What most companies do not do, and definitely should not do, is request an applicant’s passwords to access those accounts. Checking to see what is readily available to the public on those platforms is a far cry from asking for passwords to do so.  As an employer, it is not wise to attempt to gain this information from anyone.  

In fact, in many cities and states it is illegal.

Some states have passed their own laws to prohibit the request of passwords (and we predict many more will follow suit) *Source1. It is a clear invasion of privacy to ever request this type of personal information.  

Despite regulations governing the request of social media passwords, applicants and employees still need to be mindful of what they post. 

The truth is, employers often use whatever information they can obtain to help them make a hiring decision. It is important that you know what information can be seen by those not even in “your circle” and to think about what kind of conclusions might be drawn from it.

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 you can protect your online “image” and make what you post on Social Media work FOR you and not AGAINST you here!

When it comes to your Employment or Job Search, Social Media sites can be helpful or harmful ~ and that is entirely up to you! Being careful what you post and who you share it with is a great start…and can go a long way in helping you get and keep the job you want!


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Need help in getting your Resume or Social Media “Background Check Ready”? Contact API Today. We can help!

Check out Our Services and learn more About Us through these links. Discover what Our Happy Clients have to say too!


 

Sunday, September 25, 2022

What can You do if you get a "Negative" Reference?

Do You have any legal recourse if you get a “Negative” Reference during your Background Check? 

“If you are passed over for a job because of negative references even though there was no consent to speak with anyone and they won’t disclose who or what was said about you? Is there any legal recourse?”

This question was recently asked on a popular Q & A forum and we decided to weigh in…

“No “permission” is necessary for anyone doing an employment background check to speak with your past employers, especially since you have already signed a release permitting the search. Your best course of action when it comes to past employers and references is to be proactive and speak with each before you ever apply for a job. That means contacting each past employer to verify what they will disclose about you. You should also contact any references you list to let them know they may be contacted. Be sure to tell them what position(s) you are applying for and whether they are willing to act as a reference at all. Bottom line is this…be proactive and KNOW what your references and past employers will say about you long before you start your job search”.

You can see the original post and other answers here!

Waiting until after that negative reference is never the answer!

Despite having written about these subjects before, it bears repeating…when it comes time to apply for any job, it is vital that you choose your references wisely and know what your past employers will say about you first!

When it comes to your References, a little preparation goes a long way.

Do You know what Your References will say about You? 

“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. 

Your references will have had the opportunity to gather their thoughts beforehand and will not be caught off guard ~ giving you the best chance of your references working for you instead of against you.

When references are contacted unaware, they often stumble. Dates and titles elude them. Specific projects you may have worked on or tasks you lead are unmentioned. This can lead to an unimpressive reference report.

These 7 Tips will help you get the best References:

  1. Make a list ~ create a list of present and past employers, managers, supervisors, co-workers, and others that may be willing to serve as a reference. 
  2. Check it twice ~ take a hard look at this list and keep those that really know you and your work well.
  3. Spread the word ~ reach out to each of those who made your final list and see if they are willing to act as a reference. 
  4. Fill in the details ~ make sure everyone on your final list knows the job you are applying for and with what company. Also give them a quick rundown of the skills the company is looking for. 
  5. Do a double check ~ verify that you have up to date contact information for each of your references (phone, email, etc.) and the best time and way to reach them.
  6. Create your final reference list ~ this list should include all pertinent information for each reference (name, company and title, contact number, email). It is also important to give a short description of how you know them and the dates of that relationship.
  7. Don’t forget the “Thank You” ~ a thank you note to each of your references can go a long way, especially if you end up needing their help again in the future!

Learn more about how you can get your references to help you get the job in “Do You know what your References will say about You? Be Smart, Ask First”.

Tips to Help You get the most out of your References and Employment Verifications!

Knowing in advance exactly what information past employers will reveal during a background check is also key. 

Not only does it give you a heads up, it also allows you time to prepare any mitigating information you can give to your potential employer.

It is just as important to be proactive when it comes to your past employers!

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

“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.

The best thing any job applicant can do is to know beforehand what a former employer will say about them long before they ever apply for a job”.

Check out the steps you need to take to prepare yourself for the employment verification check check here!

The bottom line is this ~ when it comes to your job search and the inevitable employment background check ~ it is always best to be prepared.

Knowing in advance exactly what your references and past employers will reveal goes a long way toward relieving the angst of what your prospective new employer will find. It will also help you land the job ~ and that is your ultimate goal!


Authored by 


Need help preparing for your employment background check? Contact API Today. We will answer your questions and help you make sure your reference and resume is “background check ready”!

Learn more About Us and Our Services too!

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Happy Labor Day!

 

On “Labor Day (we) pay tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers”.

The origins of Labor Day and the Labor Movement began during “one of American labor history’s most dismal chapters” during the Industrial Revolution. At that time “the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks” and “children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country”.

The workers, especially the very poor and recent immigrants, “faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks”.

As a result of these working conditions, labor unions gained traction and companies fought back. They organized strikes in an attempt to increase safety and pay, while decreasing the grueling working hours.

“In the wake of this massive unrest and in an attempt to repair ties with American workers, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories. On June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed it into law”.

Learn more about the history of Labor Day here!

The fight to ensure workplace safety and fair, equitable treatment continues today.

The passage of important labor protection laws were crucial in this fight. They gave the American worker increased job safety, the right to employment benefits, and fair hiring and promotion practices. 

The Top 8 of these Labor Protection Laws govern:

  • Minimum Wage ~ ensures American workers receive a standardized “minimum wage” for their work
  • Workplace Safety ~ Occupations Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA)
  • Health Coverage ~ legislation to make health insurance a right for workers as most medium and large sized businesses
  • Social Security ~ Social Security Act was signed into law in 1935
  • Unemployment Benefits ~ helps those who are unemployed for “reasons outside their control”
  • Whistleblower Protections ~ protects the rights of employees if they speak up about an employer who violates the law
  • Family Leave ~ Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) signed into law by President Clinton in 1993.
  • Employment-Based Discrimination ~ The Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal for businesses to discriminate against an individual on the basis of “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin”. In 2009 the Ledbetter Fair Play Act increased the list to include women and minorities.

Find out more in “Laws that Protect Employees”.

So while we need to understand the origins and reasons we celebrate Labor Day, we must not forget the number one reason to pay tribute ~ the American workers themselves!

We are the laborers, the innovators, and the dreamers. We are the teachers, the caretakers, the craftsmen. The scientists, the protectors, and the multitude of other workers that make up the labor force of this nation.

It is our contributions day in and day out that are the backbone of our nation. We keep ourselves, our families, our cities, states, and country running and successful. 

And now it’s time to celebrate! Happy Labor Day!


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We invite you to check out our website to learn more about the Services we offer at Access Profiles, Inc. and our commitment to help businesses hire safely and effectively.

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