What do Background Checks Say About You?


A lot of people equate a background check with a criminal records check, but it actually goes beyond that. Background checks reveal civil records, education and employment history, and references. We learn from https://unmask.com/ that these checks help prospective employers ensure they’ve made the best possible hire by verifying education and employment.

Checking Criminal Records

A criminal background check will reveal records of offenses on a national, state, and county level. You might wonder why someone would run this type of check on you. There are many reasons. If you’ve met someone on a dating site, they might check to see if you have a criminal record. A prospective landlord might want to know who they’re letting into their home. A new neighbor might run a check on you, also for safety reasons. Of course, a potential employer would do one.

What Information Will Show Up?

Felony convictions, current pending charges, acquitted charges, misdemeanor convictions, and dismissed charges might all show up on a background check. It depends on the state. In some states, companies are not allowed to use arrest records to make recruitment decisions. Being arrested does not make someone guilty of a crime and should not prevent them from getting a job.

Even if a case was dismissed after you were found innocent, it would stay on your record. Employers should recognize the difference between dropped charges and a formal conviction, so the former doesn’t become a barrier to employment. Still, they will take all the information they find into account so as to protect themselves from hiring the wrong candidate.

Traffic Violations

It’s understandable that a company will want its staff to have clean driving records, especially if the job involves the operation of a motor vehicle. Do criminal checks reveal traffic tickets? Usually, it’s necessary to carry out a motor vehicle records check because criminal history checks don’t show simple traffic tickets. Speeding tickets are not felonies or misdemeanors, but civil citations. Other offenses, such as DUI or reckless driving, are considered felonies or misdemeanors. As such, they will show up on a criminal background check.

Other Components of a Background Check

Employers are usually interested in a few common types of background checks, although there are many kinds. One of them is social security and identity verification. An employment background check can show who a Social Security number belongs to, if it’s valid, and whether it’s been used before. To get this information, companies search Social Security Administration records, the database of the Department of Homeland Security, and other sources.

Address verification is part of identification verification. To detect false information, employers cross-reference ID verification data to data provided by candidates.

Tradelines are another common element of a background check. They list accounts with loan providers, including the credit limit or amount of the loan, the date the account was opened, the borrower’s payment history, and the current balance. Typically, they will also show the type of account opened – credit card, car loan, mortgage, etc.

Credit Reports

A background check will include a credit report, which could show asset spending, debt, and any previous bankruptcy filings. Excessive spending or debt is a potential red flag to an employer, particularly if the job will involve handling money.

Credit bureaus, who gather data from different sources, prepare these reports. Financial institutions such as banks and credit card companies provide data to credit reporting agencies. Credit bureaus can provide name, address, DOB, and other identifying information. Credit reports identify lenders and retailers who have requested information about a consumer.


We speak of an employment discrepancy when someone gives a false or inaccurate date (employment from/to) on a resume or job application, and the employer finds out after doing a check. The discrepancy is not going to hurt one’s chances unless there are a lot of qualified candidates, which is the case for job positions that are easy to fill.

If the candidate is a good fit and the discrepancy is not significant, they’ll probably be hired anyway. Regardless, it’s always best to provide accurate information on your resume. Most employers reserve the right to reject applicants who provide misleading or false information. Employees are subject to termination even years after this is found out.

Let’s say your current employer doesn’t detect your discrepancy. You get a new job eventually. If your new employer detects it through an HR audit, they can terminate you on the grounds of misrepresentation.

Final Thoughts

In sum, we can say background checks reveal a lot about a person. As the information is publicly available, it can be used for employment and many other purposes. You could try running a check on yourself to see what information will surface.

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