How To Know if You Failed an Employee Background Check With FAQ

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When applying for a new position, employers may perform background checks to verify your qualifications. Depending on the employer, area of ​​work and job title, the items included in a background check may vary. Failure to do a background check can disqualify you from a position, so it’s important to understand these factors and know how to ensure that your background matches the requirements of your potential employer. In this article, we define employee background checks, explain how to tell if you’ve failed an employee background check, and answer frequently asked questions about the process.

Related: A Complete Guide to Background Checks

An employee background check is a process that potential employers use to check your education, employment history, and criminal record. These checks help employers verify your identity and confirm that you meet the qualifications listed on your resume and application documents. Different employers have different policies for performing background checks. They can only investigate your educational, work, and criminal background, or they can perform a more in-depth check that includes your driving record and personal references.

Related: What can you reveal in a background check?

How to tell if you’ve failed an employee background check

You can tell if you failed an employee background check if you have any of the following seven exclusion factors:

1. Inconsistent employment history

Inconsistencies in your employment history can prevent you from passing a background check. Inconsistencies can include gaps in your employment history, inaccurate descriptions of duties and responsibilities, inaccurate length of employment, or false information about the employer. These items may prevent you from passing an employee background check due to concerns about your work ethic and integrity. To avoid failing a background check because of these issues, be sure to include accurate and truthful information about your work history and briefly explain any extended work disruption in your cover letter.

2. Inaccurate CV information

If there is inaccurate information on your CV or application package, you may not pass the background check. Employers often check your work history, education, certifications, and skills to make sure the statements made on your resume are accurate. Be sure to list only work history, degrees, certifications, and skills that you genuinely hold.

Related: How do employers verify college degrees?

3. A criminal record

If you have a criminal record, this can cause you to fail a background check. Depending on the nature and severity of your crimes, having a criminal history is a common disqualifying factor. Employers often want to hire people who are trustworthy and responsible, especially if you are applying for a job in an area that deals with sensitive information or the well-being of others, such as law enforcement or healthcare. . If you have minor charges in your criminal record, you may need to answer questions about the circumstances and provide answers that reflect your current level of responsibility.

4. Negative opinions of employers

Hiring managers can contact your previous employers for details about your work ethic and performance. If these references provide negative feedback about your job, you may not pass your background check. Employers may want to know that you work well with others, take criticism, apply feedback, and take initiative in your day-to-day responsibilities. It is important that your references can verify these abilities. Be sure to provide hiring managers with contact information for previous managers with whom you have had a positive relationship.

5. Bad driving record

Having a bad driving record can be an indicator of irresponsibility and recklessness. Employers can check your driving record, especially if you are applying for a job that involves driving. If you have a bad driving record, you may be disqualified for positions such as:

  • paramedic
  • Police officer
  • Crane operator
  • Truck or trailer driver
  • Delivery man
  • Bus driver
  • Taxi driver
  • Airline pilot

If you are interested in any of these positions but have a bad driving record, consider applying for similar positions or roles in the same field that do not require driving a vehicle. For example, if you want to be a police officer, you can apply for an emergency dispatcher position instead. If you want to be a crane operator, you can apply for other construction positions, such as a carpenter or a bricklayer.

6. A failed drug or alcohol test

Depending on your potential employer, you may need to submit a drug or alcohol test. Different employers may have different policies about who should submit tests, the types of substances they test for, and how often you should continue testing after you are hired. Positions that involve the use of heavy machinery, handling prescription drugs, or ensuring the well-being of others may be more likely to require a drug or alcohol test. If you are applying for any of these positions, it is important to avoid alcohol and illegal substances.

7. Bad credit history

Some employers, especially in the financial industry, may check your credit history. A bad credit report can indicate irresponsibility or financial management issues, while a positive credit score can indicate responsibility and effective money management. To avoid failing a background check because of your credit history, try adopting healthy credit habits. These habits include paying your monthly credit bills on time, avoiding high interest rates, and using your line of credit responsibly.

Related: Q&A: What is included in an employment background check?

Employee background checks faq

Below are some frequently asked questions about employee background checks:

Why Do Employers Perform Background Checks?

Employers perform background checks to make sure you meet all the requirements and to verify your qualifications. This can help protect the interests of a business in making successful hires. In some industries, background checks help ensure the safety and well-being of other employees and the general public. These industries often include healthcare, law enforcement, aviation, construction, and manufacturing. Background checks can help employers make sure that you will be able to carry out your responsibilities safely and successfully and protect the well-being of those around you.

Can you dispute the results of a background check?

If you believe there was an error in your background check, you can dispute those results with the background check company or the employment information agency. It is important to make sure that all of the information in your background check is correct and complete to avoid missing a job opportunity due to mistakes. Common mistakes in background check results can include:

  • False criminal record
  • Obsolete information that should no longer exist in a background check
  • Identity error

Most background check and employment reporting companies have websites that contain information on how to dispute false or inaccurate results. If you believe your results are incorrect, consider asking your potential employer for the information of the company they performed the background check with. Then visit their website to fill out a dispute form and correct any errors in your results.

What are my background check rights?

You have several rights as an individual subject to a background check. Understanding these rights can help you feel empowered to verify that the process is fair and in accordance with the law. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives you the following rights:

  • Prospective employers should let you know if a background check is the reason you haven’t received a job offer
  • You should receive a copy of your background check if you request one
  • You have the right to dispute any errors in your background check
  • The organization that completed the test must remove or correct any errors in your results within 30 days
  • Employers or prospective employers must receive your written consent before proceeding with a background check
  • You can sue the background or employment check companies for any errors in your results

Do all employers perform background checks?

Most often, employers perform some level of background check. Depending on the employer, the rigor of the control and the conditions for success may vary. It is rare that an employer does not do an employee background check during the hiring process.

Is social media included in a background check?

As social media becomes more important and accessible in society, employers are starting to include social media pages in employee background checks. Social media pages can provide insight into your character, values, and level of professionalism. Disqualification factors on a social media page can include:

  • Hate speech
  • Vulgar words or images
  • Documentation of the use of an illegal substance
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