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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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 


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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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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. 


Authored by  


Looking for a Job? API can help you get your resume "Background Check Ready"! Check out our Job Search Services today! 

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Sunday, March 20, 2022

Will Unpaid Work Experience Hinder your Job Search?

Will unpaid work experience cause a problem in the employer verification part of my background check?

This was asked recently on the popular Q & A site, Quora and we were intrigued. So many job seekers have questions and concerns when it comes to optimizing their resume and preparing for the employment background check. Since alleviating those worries is part of our mission, we wanted to weigh in with our perspective and advice.

Here is our answer ~ 

"Unpaid, volunteer, or intern type positions are great additions to any resume ~ especially when they yielded skills or experience that can translate to your career! Including them will not cause any issues when it comes to the employment background check unless you try to pass them off as Paid Positions. That would send off a bright red flag! However, including them as unpaid references will help you as long as when contacted, they have something nice to say. That is why I recommend that you contact any reference long before you list them on your resume. Give them a “heads up” that they may be contacted and ask them if they are willing to give you a good reference. Even finding out in advance what information past employers will give to potential employers or screening companies is in your best interest. This way you will be prepared as to what an employment background check will find!".

Discover more answers to this question here!

Instead of feeling angst when you apply for any job, your best bet is to be prepared. And it all starts with your resume!

“When you are in the midst of a job search, one thing you can count on is that some type of background check will be part of the equation.

Most employers will check to see if you have the education, skills, and past experience needed for the job ~ and your resume will most likely be your first introduction.

Job Seekers Take Note ~  It is vital that Your Resume be “Background Check Ready”! 

Making sure your resume is completely truthful is the best start. The key is to make sure all your information is clear and accurate, and following these 6 tips will help!

  1. Make sure your resume is “clean”
  2. Make sure you never list a degree you haven’t earned
  3. Make sure all past employments are accurate
  4. Make sure you know what your past employers will say about you
  5. Make sure you can mitigate any employment “gaps”
  6. Make sure you have done a background check on yourself first

You can find out more about how to accomplish these 6 goals in “Tips to Help You get Your Resume ‘Background Check Ready’!”.

It is also a smart move to contact anyone you are listing as a reference long before you add them to your resume! This includes past employers and anyone else you list, or who may be contacted, to serve as a reference.

Knowing in advance the information that will be provided to potential employers is key.

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 and knowing what they will say 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.”

7 steps you should follow for getting the most out of your references ~

  1. Make a List
  2. Check it twice
  3. Spread the Word
  4. Fill in the Details
  5. Do a Double Check
  6. The Final Draft
  7. A Thank You goes a long way

While not all potential employers will ask for a list of references, if you follow these tips you will be ready if they do! Find out more about how you can make each of these suggestions work for you here!

But the most important resume tip of all is this ~ Do a Background Check on Yourself before you ever start your Job Search!

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 and When do you do it?

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?

Discover how doing a Background check on yourself, with help from a qualified screening company, will help you get the job here!

Being prepared before you start your job search is key. Knowing what is “out there” about you, fine tuning your resume to reflect your skills and accomplishments, and choosing the right references can make all the difference in whether you get hired or not.

So, the time to start is now! Need help? Contact API today. We can answer your questions and help you get ready for your job search.


Authored by  


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