What Does a Background Check Look For?

A process that many individuals will have to go through when seeking employment, making a large purchase, or adopting a child, among other things, is a background check. These screenings are done to confirm your identity, verify qualifications, and check your criminal history.

The most common background check you’ll run into will happen when you’re seeking employment, so it’s important to know what kind of information this type of screening could reveal.

Verification of Identity

Most employers will do an employee background screening during the hiring process to ensure the people they’ve hired are who they claim to be and verify their addresses. Employers will also validate your social security number and check whether that number has been used in the past. 

Credit Report

When you make a large purchase, such as a car or house, or take out a loan, the financial institution lending you the money will run a check on your credit. This will provide information on your debt-to-income ratio, which will help determine how much money a bank could comfortably lend you. A credit report also shows whether you have a history of making payments late or if you’ve ever filed bankruptcy. If you’re applying for a job in a financial institution, an employer may check your credit history to see whether or not you are responsible with finances.

Criminal Records

A criminal background check will show any misdemeanor or felony convictions, as well as pending and dismissed charges, and any charges you may have been acquitted for. In addition, an employer will seek information about your criminal history because not doing so could be a liability to the organization to which you’re applying.

Another reason an employer will look at an applicant’s criminal history is to ensure the people they hire are a good fit for their organization. For example, a school district will not usually hire an applicant who has been convicted of a felony, and a hospital might not hire an applicant who has been convicted of several DUIs.

Education and Licenses

Suppose you are applying for a job that requires specific education or certification. In that case, your employer will run a background check to confirm that you have the proper qualifications. In addition, a background check will verify that your driver’s license and any other permits are valid.

Employers need to be certain they are hiring the most qualified individual for the position. A background check can help instill confidence in you as an employee. In addition, background checks help keep the workplace safe for everyone, including you.