Monday, March 20, 2017

Why It's Time We Change our Thinking about Background Checks

It is not uncommon for the words “Background Check” to cause worry for many job applicantsEven people who have nothing to "hide", fear what a background check will find. And if you do happen to have something negative in your past, then a background check can be downright scary. But it doesn’t have to be that way! 

This fear (of background checks) often arises out of a lack of understanding about what a background check really entails.  Applicants are confused about what will be checked, worried about their privacy being compromised, and don’t know what an employer is really looking for!”, excerpt from “Are You Afraid of Background Checks?  They’re Not as Scary as You Think!”.

It is this misunderstanding and miscommunication that causes a lot of the anxiety about background checks.

You may think that employers actually want to find out negative things about you. When, in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

When it comes time for the background check, employers are really just verifying that they have made the right decision when it comes to hiring you!

By running a background check, Employers are simply looking for confirmation that they have made the right choice. 

By this point in the hiring process, they have already read your resume, interviewed you, and, out of all the other candidates, picked you as a good hire.  

They have invested a great amount of time and money. And they will have to spend even more screening you.

But while popular belief is that the intent of a background check is to find a way to keep you from getting the job, this is simply not true.”.

Find out more about what an employer is looking for during the background check here!

While it is certainly true that the fear and confusion surrounding background checks contributes to the negativity, changing our thinking about them can make all the difference. 
We need to recognize that a background check is not about highlighting any of the things you have done wrong. Instead, it is about finding the things you have done right! 

Employment Background Checks are really looking for what is Good about You!  “Tweet This”

That is why making sure your resume and social media sites highlight your best assets makes sense.
You should begin with your resume. First make sure it accurately features your education and training. You should include high school, college, or any other kind of learning opportunities you may have pursued. A good background check will then verify it.

It is also important to share your skill set. List projects you have worked on, changes you implemented, and be sure to mention the positive outcome of your efforts. A background check will then confirm this by contacting your former employers. Investigators will ask specific questions designed to discover the qualities you brought to the workplace. Things like leadership and initiative are definitely valued.    

Your resume should even include the interesting things about you! Your volunteering efforts or causes you are active in makes you more interesting to a potential employer.

This attention needs to continue on to your social profiles. Employers are increasingly using social media as part of the screening process, so make sure what they find will show you in a good light.

The goal in checking social media “will be to find any relevant posts about you and use them as a cross-check against (your) resume”. This will include considering “both positive and negative posts. Positive posts can include mentions of awards received or charity and volunteer work you or your applicant are involved in”.

Negative posts may include excessive complaints about a current or past employer and certain “behaviors depicted online that might be undesirable to a potential employer ~ explicit photos, illegal activity, etc.”.

You can find out more about making your resume and social media profiles help you to get the job in “Tips to Help You get Your Resume Background Check Readyand “Why I have Added Social Media and Resume Screening to My Services”!

Highlighting the positive aspects of your past in both your resume and your social media will help lessen the fear and distrust about your upcoming background check. It is also an important step in helping to change our way of thinking about the entire process. 

At API we believe that thinking of a background check as a “Personal Profile” or "Snapshot" instead is a step in the right directionAfter all, when done right, a good employment screening is about showing the whole picture ~ a true “profile” of your life.

That is one of the reasons we chose Access Profiles as our company name. We believe in helping an employer or job seeker by providing the most accurate “profile” of their candidate possible. That is what it is all about. It is our company's true focus and passion. 

A person is more than just their past. They are a sum of multiple parts ~ and a good background check reflects that. The results will be a snapshot of where you have been, what you have learned, and who you are now.
And it is your job to make that picture as positive as possible! We can help!  
Let us show you how to make your past, your resume and your social profiles work for you, not against you. 

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