How to Prepare for a Background Check

At some point, everyone has to go through a background check. The thing some folks don’t always realize is that they can do a lot to prepare. The following are a few things you can do to prepare for a background check.

The Credit Report

You can get a free credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion each year. Be sure to review this before the background check. These are the biggest credit bureaus in the United States that hold important data regarding your history. You’ll want to review this before you have a background check done so that you can know what’s going on. You can work on resolving errors or issues that you notice on your report so that you aren’t misjudged.

Criminal Records

Criminal records are also checked, and you should prepare for that. What you want to do is check the laws regarding criminal records in your state because they vary from state to state. Some states allow background checks to go back as far as 10 years. Find out how far back they’ll look into your criminal past. Have the events clear in your mind, and consider owning up to them if necessary. If you come clean about a criminal past that’s going to come up anyway, this could give you an advantage.

Driving Records

The next thing you want to worry about is your driving record. Those who are applying for a job where your driving record is important should know what’s in their record. You can visit the DMV in person or online to obtain your records. Carefully review the information in your records, and make sure you have clear answers about each issue you find there. Preparing an answer could help you deal with certain questions. This may not guarantee you the job, but it’ll help improve your chances.

Drug Testing

You should also think about drug tests. You have to find out the kind of substances these tests look for. Marijuana is a commonly used drug, especially now that many states are legalizing its use, but the reality is many states have specific rules about who can and cannot use marijuana. If you believe you have a problem with drug use that could make it hard for you to get a job, then make sure you seek the help you need. The faster you address this problem, the easier it’ll be to move on with your life.

Employer Notes

The employer who’s going to run a background check on you will check with past employers. You aren’t powerless in this. You can talk to your past employers to find out what they might say about you. Take notes about what they might say so that you know what to expect. It’s important to ask about your employment files. You can use the information there to be a little more specific about who you are as an employee. If there are any issues in your past, then you have time to figure out how you’ll talk about these issues so that they don’t affect you negatively.

Personal References

It’s good to have personal references you can rely on who can speak on your behalf. These folks will vouch for you, but you should know what they’ll say. Just because they care about you or respect you, doesn’t mean you know what they’ll say. The goal is to allow them to be honest about your character, but you should still know what they’re talking about so that you can elaborate when you’re finally doing the job interview.

Hopefully, some of these tips help you prepare for this background check. Spend a lot of time with this step so that there are no surprises when the check is performed.

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