Thursday, August 9, 2012

Why, When, and How You should Run a Background Check on Yourself!

Have You ever Considered Doing a Background Check on Yourself?
There are many reasons why you may want to know what is "out there" about you. You may be considering college or buying a home. You may even want to volunteer at your child's school. But the most common reason by far is when you are thinking about applying for a job or trying to get a promotion.

The question then becomes, How do you do it?

When the following question was posed on, we realized that many people may wonder how to go about it, without breaking the bank, and we wanted to help!

Question: How do I do a full background check on myself that is 100% free?
Answer: The best way to do a free background check on yourself is for you to “go to the source”. 
That means, when checking for criminal records, contact the courts directly. Be sure to check at the local, county, state, and even federal level of anyplace where you have lived and/or worked for at least the last 7 - 10 years. Many courts have online access to these records, while some you may still have to visit in person. 

You would also need to contact any prior employers to verify your time there. You can call yourself or, even better, get a friend to do it for you. Pay special attention to the dates of employment they provide and job title. Try and ask additional questions such as, reason for leaving, job performance, eligible for rehire, etc. Take note of these answers and make sure your resume reflects what these employers provide. Some companies, however, no longer provide employment verification in-house. They use an outside company that requires payment for this information. 

And, finally, you need to contact the high school, university, or anyplace you claim to have a degree, certification, etc. and verify the information they have on file. The key to all these inquiries is to make sure that the information released by each of these entities matches what you have in your resume.

For help with the entire process, you may consider hiring a qualified background check company to help. They will know exactly what sources to use and save you a considerable amount of time. While not free, you should be able to find one that will work with you at a reasonable cost.

See more answers to this question on here

So, while our answer covered a little bit about "How" you can do a background check on yourself, you then need to consider "Why" and "When"!

Are you looking for a job? Ready to change careers? This is "When" running a background check on yourself BEFORE you apply is smart ~ and it will help you stand out from the crowd!

Many employers use Background Checks as part of their hiring process. Most of these employers are looking for past criminal histories and validation of your employment and education claims. Some also do searches on driving records and social media presence.

Do you know what they will find?
Your best defense is a sound offense. Before you apply for any job, you will probably update your resume, research the company where you are applying – all in the hope of putting your best foot forward. Why not add a Background Check to that list?

Looking for a Job?  Do a Background Check on Yourself First!  "Tweet This"

Your Background Check should include these basics:
  •     Criminal History Check – Discovering exactly what could be found in a criminal search is invaluable. It will give you a chance to be ready with an explanation or mitigating circumstances of accurate criminal records. It will also give you a chance to correct or dispute records that contain errors. You can attempt to search court records yourself or hire a Background Check Services Company to help.
  •     Academic/License Verification Order transcripts in advance from any institution where you claim a degree or certification. Make sure that the records are correct and completely coincide with the information on your resume. This should include all dates of attendance, date degree earned, GPA , description of the degree (bachelors, masters, etc.), and any honors and awards.
  •     Employment History Contact all past employers listed on your resume and verify what information they release to prospective employers asking for verifications.  Is it limited to job title and dates of employment? Will they verify reason for leaving or comment on work performance? Knowing what will be said about you will give you the chance to make any corrections needed on your resume. We have seen applicants rejected simply because the job title and dates of employment listed on their resume did not match that supplied by the past employer. Don’t let this happen to you!
  •     Driving History Ordering your own driving history when applying for a position that requires driving as part of the job description (or one that comes with a company car) will prepare you for any violations or suspensions listed, even ones you may have forgotten existed! Most driving records go back 7-10 years, depending on the state. Your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles should be contacted for this information.
  •     Internet Search You should start by searching Google (and other internet search engines) and Social Media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. for your name, including any variations of your name, address, phone number, or any other “identifiers”. Look through these sites with an eye out for posts and photos that may cast you in a bad light to potential employers. Delete or block anything that may be even remotely questionable.
Being prepared is sound advice for anyone in search of a job, and with a little work you can be!  
The possibility that your dream job may fall through your hands simply because “red flags” came up during your Background Check can be avoided. Knowing in advance exactly what is “out there” about you is in your best interest.

  And hiring a quality screening company to help you makes sense!
Screening companies routinely contact the courts, companies, and other institutions and know the best way to get the information you need. A good company will also work within your budget to get the information you need. Check out these tips to help you Find the Best Background Check Company for You!

Remember, when it comes time to apply for a job, your best defense is a good offense!
We can Help You Get your Resume "Background Check Ready"!

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For more information on Background Checks and using them Personally and in Your Small Business, please follow our blog at
You can find out more About Us and Our Background Investigation, Security Consulting, and Business Mentoring services too!

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