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, 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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