Don’t Let an Employment Background Kill Your Dream Job

Things have changed for job seekers in the last year, what with the overall situation that the world is in at the moment. With the increase in remote work, a background check for employment becomes all the more important for employers. Since many interviews are performed over video calls instead of in person, businesses are becoming more cautious over who they want working with them in their teams. Still, you shouldn’t let this get you down. Let’s look at how you can get that dream job after you know that you aced the interview. But now the anxiety sets in and you’re wondering if everything’s kosher when it comes to your background check. Do you even know what they’d be looking for? No worries, we’ve got you covered.

What Do Potential Employers Look For?

There are a variety of factors that potential employers check when performing a background check on you, as a potential new hire. The point of these checks, for the most part, is to not leave any stone unturned. They’ll make sure to look back into as many aspects of your life and background as possible, making sure that you check out in all areas. The following are some of the most common types of background checks that would be run on you, but it’s important to note that these may vary.

Your Criminal Record

To most of us, this may not come as a shock, but the CRA may look into your criminal records. These could be from local, federal, or regional authorities, and how far back a potential employer might look into your criminal record is determined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) or the state. The best thing that you could do if asked by a prospective employer about your criminal past, is be honest with them. Giving them a heads up about what they may come across if looking into your past should be appreciated. It would also save them a bit of a shock, should your criminal past raise an eyebrow or two.

Identity Check

Looking up your identity is a means of a potential employer seeking to verify your identity to make sure that the ID that you’ve been issued is a valid one. It all depends on where you are, but most of the time, a potential employer will require your Social Security Number, driver’s license, or passport for this part of the background check.


Many employers will verify a work candidate’s educational qualifications during a background check, and some employers will go above and beyond by requiring applicants to show certificates of accomplishment or awards. You should be fine as long as you were truthful about your educational background on your work application.

Employment History

A report of the job candidate’s career history — a list of all the employers you’ve worked with, your job titles, and dates of employment — is included in certain background checks. As a result, your resume should be truthful and show your job history accurately.

Drug Use

You can go to a collection site (a clinic or a lab) and have a sample if your potential employer demands a drug test (hair, urine, saliva). Your potential employer specifies which medications the site will test for. Many states have legalized marijuana, be it for medicinal or recreational purposes, but there is no uniformity when it comes to an employer’s need to tolerate the use of marijuana, so it depends on the state and the potential employer. Illegal/street drugs can be detected. Medication that has been prescribed will also function. You are not required to report your medical history when you’re asked about a prescribed drug. However, you may be required to show evidence of a prescription. Stay informed about banned substances.

So, how can you ensure that you’ve got as clean a background as possible? Let’s hope that doing the right thing in life got you there to begin with – but circumstances could have made that difficult at times. Things happen, so if you have gotten clean and need to know how to prevent relapse don’t be ashamed. Do your research and avoid this scenario at all costs, we aren’t here to judge, we just want to help. Here are a few hot tips you can take to ensure you’re prepared for a background check so that you can get your dream job.

Be the One to Bring Up the Issue

If you are aware of something that may appear negative in a background check, discussing the problem with your prospective employer rather than waiting for them to discover it could support your case. You should justify any extenuating circumstances if you’re the one who brings it up to their notice, which might make all the difference in how they view you. Generally, having the right details for background checks and being prepared to clarify any possible red flags in your background will make it infinitely easier for employers to recruit you.

Look Into Your Online Presence

Find out what’s available about you online and if anything doesn’t look good, try to get it removed. It’s really important to review your social media presence, too, since that can give a lot away about your lifestyle. If you know that a potential employer might not find the statuses or images you post favorable, take them down. Better yet, turn up your privacy settings so that only people who already follow you or are your friends can see your social media posts. Of course, you’ve got to make sure you’ve done this before they’ve got to snooping around your profiles.

Get Hold of Employment Records from Old Employers

Despite popular opinion, a former employer’s ability to share information about you is not always limited. If your employer is located in the United States, state laws about what can and cannot be exchanged can differ. You may, however, contact former employers and request copies of your job records regardless of which state you work in. You’ll be able to avoid any potentially uncomfortable questions about references this way.