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Have a Complete Background Check Done Before Job Hunting

written by: •edited by: Aaron R.•updated: 11/13/2008

Finding and keeping employment is difficult enough with the present condition of the world economy. So, no one needs inaccurate information in a background check that can prevent getting or keeping employment.

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    With all the economic woes across the globe, employment is the foundation for personal contentment. No one can live the life they want without the basics. The basics require money and you get money from being employed. If you are trying to secure a job working for someone else, options can be limited because of limited availability of positions suited for your qualifications or simply because the employer may have an over-abundance of applicants. After you have the prospective employer’s attention, the employer may run a background check on you to verify that you are you, are qualified to work in the USA and don’t have indications in your past that you are less than trustworthy. An employer may also decide to begin performing background checks on current employees.

    A complete background check can include your credit score, court documents, driving record, insurance claims, retail theft reports, or criminal records. American employers must get the permission of the employee or prospective employee before performing a background check. Employers are also required by American law to tell the employee or prospective employee when any derogatory information appears if the information could jeopardize the job, which information broker provided the not-so-complimentary information and what information was found.

    There are two basic ways a background check can produce undeserved or uncomplimentary information: identity theft and information brokers maintaining inaccurate information. If you have an indication of identity theft, perform a background check on yourself just in case your identification was used in criminal acts. Information brokers fall into two categories: those that maintain their own databases and those that don’t. Information brokers in the USA who maintain their own databases are required by law through the Fair Credit Reporting Act to give you access to your personal information when you request it. They are allowed to charge for this service. How you request your information depends on the procedure of the particular company. Some well-known information brokers are ChoicePoint, Intelius, Veromi and ZabaSearch. A list of information brokers that you can and can’t opt-out from is available from the Privacy Right Clearinghouse.

    Although “googling” prospective or current employees can serve as a limited inexpensive preliminary background check to some employers, the employer is not required by law to tell you they “googled” you, any information they found or where they found this information even if this information can compromise your placement at the prospective or current job. This is because the Fair Credit Reporting Act only applies to third parties (the employer).

    Should you find mistakes with your reported information, you can dispute the information with the information broker that maintains its own databases. They have 30 days, from when they received your request, to get back to you. They also can remove information that they can’t verify if they state that in their policies and agreements. But, if an information broker doesn’t maintain their own databases, they can’t change or correct any information. You need to find out from where they are retrieving their information. Look at their policies and agreements posted at their website to find where they get their information from. Then wherever they get their information from is where you need to find out how you can correct inaccurate information.