Leveraging Background Checks in Your Job Search

Often a contingency is your job offer is the statement that you must successfully complete a background check.  While the intent is to identify applicants with criminal records, there can also be unanticipated implications.

Be Honest – Honesty is always the best policy.  If you had any type of conviction for any offense in the past, it is critical that you disclose it on your application.  If it shows up in the background check and you didn’t disclose it, the issue becomes one of integrity.  Do not sacrifice your integrity for a past mistake or error in judgment.  Honesty will win out.  Disclosing the offense is much more important than hiding it.

When In Doubt… – If you have any doubt about what will show up on your background check, it is worth paying to run a background check on yourself in advance.  The fee is a modest investment in your professional future.  Be prepared to disclose anything to shows up on the report.  If you were told something would be removed from your record, do not assume that happened as promised.  Run a report so you know if it is there or not.

I have seen well-qualified candidates lose great opportunities because they did not disclose offenses that showed up on their background reports.


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