Background Screening: A Final Test

The employer has studied your resume. You've been asked many a probing question during your initial interview and the office visit, and you were even given a test. The employer has all of the information about you that they need, right? Not necessarily. Many employers are gathering additional background information on candidates prior to making an employment decision.

Usually, the information the employer is obtaining is directly relevant to the specific type of job. For example, a commercial bank is likely to check your own credit history before they hire you to work with their customers' funds.

Background screening of candidates is an increasingly common and legal practice. The decision to hire an individual is a major one, and employers want to ensure that there are no "surprises" which would affect your performance. It is best to be honest and up front with employers when background information is sought.

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act of September 1997, employers must tell you if they discovered something during the background screening which caused them to reject your candidacy. You may ask for this information, and you also have the right to appeal a hiring decision based on background screening data. If you have concerns or questions about an employer's screening practices, please consult with a representative from our office.

Employers will check:

References - (Most employers call, rather than rely on written letters of reference.)

College transcript - (Employers will verify graduation date, coursework, and grade point average.)

Employment history - (Employers may even contact people whom you did not list as a reference.)

All information you supply on an employment application.

Employers may also check:

Credit History

Conviction Record

Driving Record

Drug Test

Test Scores

Fingerprints

FBI File