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.

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