background checks

What Do Background Checks Show Employers?

Employers run background checks to evaluate a candidate’s character and help protect against the wrong hire.  Although there are several different types of background checks, most employers are concerned with the same basic sets of information.

Most Employers are Conducting Background Screening

A study of 1500 human resource professionals revealed that background checks are nearly universal.

  • 96% of participants report that their organization conducts at least one type of screen.
  • Rationale for doing screenings center on public safety of employees and consumers.
  • Reasons for not doing background checks include cost and use of other screening methods.

Types of Background Checks, What They Show, and How to Protect Yourself

Employers have the option to check everything from criminal record history to social media accounts. Consider what they will find and how to protect yourself.

Credit History

Your credit score is reviewed to show overall financial stability.

  • Missed payments may be seen as a liability, particularly if the prospective position includes budget management.
  • Score improvement after missteps indicate your honesty and ability to learn from mistakes.
  • Protect yourself by reviewing your credit report and improving your payment history.

Criminal Record

Evidence of criminal activity affects public safety and a business’s reputation, depending on the type of offense and when it occurred.

  • States vary on reporting criminal records to employers. Contact your State Department of Labor to learn what your state allows.

Work History

Your work history is reviewed for accuracy and is a sign of honesty.

  • Keep this accurate and consistent by reviewing past versions. Be sure dates on an application match those on your resume.

Social Media Information

  • Social media accounts may reveal more than you wish to share with the world at large.
  • Conduct a Google search to view what employers


For more job seeker tips, check out: Job Interview Questions