When you’re a job candidate going on an interview, be prepared, of course, for someone – either your potential superior or a human resources representative – to ask you questions and even to get your signature for a background check. This isn’t always the case, however. If you apply to a position with a small business, you may not be required to submit to a background check but, instead, be prepared for having your references checked, being offered a paid trial position, and having your name Googled. For all instances, a company that can’t afford to do a background check will find some information about you for another aspect of your character or a larger company will run a basic background check on you.
For the latter, the Wall Street Journal recently ran a short column detailing some steps an employer should take regarding job candidates. Background checks were one of their suggestions, of course, to verify your work history but simply verifying the information on your resume isn’t their only goal. Other options to gauge your work ethic include having a potential employee come for a paid trial period and using a formal application to get the full background of a candidate not seen on his or her resume.
Another approach many employers, particularly small businesses who can’t afford a background check, is to do a Google search on any potential candidates. While this can include seeing what results come up f or a candidate, it also means looking at any social networking profiles that come up from LinkedIn, Facebook, and Myspace. In all cases involving these sites, all “inappropriate” photos – taking shots or pole dancing at a club, for example – should be taken off. Even this article from the Baltimore Sun suggests adding some professional aspects to your profiles, such as letters of recommendation for LinkedIn pages and, of course, proofreading your resume.