How Thorough is a Background Check?

Another article from MSN Money details how thorough a background check is and covers key points that are covered in every basic background check, including work history, education, and criminal records. The gist of the article is not everything in your background will be picked up by a potential employer but, at the same time, be honest about everything on your application, as nothing is consistently left out or unclear in a pre-employment background screening.

The two key points that should be clear before a background check are work and education history, particularly majors and degrees received for education and places worked, as well as work references, for employment. But, as brought up by this article, aspects that can remain unclear – and might lead to successful resume padding – include the exact salary amounts from previous jobs and clubs and organizations joined during college. In addition, many states have a seven year rule for criminal convictions, including felonies. While this doesn’t apply to all states, getting arrested seven years prior might not come up on a background check but things from the past seven years, including misdemeanors and minor arrests, might end up on a background check.

So, is there a rule of what should be included and left out during a background check? The best rule is to be as honest as possible, as, even though not every detail from the past seven years may not come up in a background check, not being honest in the application process could cost you employment.

As mentioned in the article, other factors can cost you employment with a company and certain rules exist about what an employer can and can’t discriminate against, such as bankruptcy on a credit report. In addition, obtaining a copy of your background check is possible prior to an interview to straighten any discrepancies out. One option is contacting an online company like Data Check for a copy of your background report.