Does an adverse background check automatically disqualify me for a job?

Polished resume. Professional attire. And clean background check?

In the checklist of job-seeking necessities, how important is a clean background check? In a word: vital. With unemployment rates historically low and the job market getting more competitive, background checks matter more than ever.

While information included will vary, the background check stands as a high-ranking fixture in the career world. Do its results always determine career placement? No. But here’s how they do matter.

For certain jobs, an adverse background check is a deal breaker. Even though screening can vary between industries and job descriptions, for some jobs, a less than clean background check means no career. One prime example: law enforcement. If felony convictions, drug use, or domestic violence issues—just to name a few— show up on a background check, this represents a hurdle too big for any law enforcement agency.

But criminal offenses don’t rule out every career. Many employers are willing to overlook misdemeanor offenses and older criminal convictions. More violent crimes, sex offenses, and embezzling? That could be a tougher sell.

Of course, background checks can return inaccurate information. That’s why it’s important for companies to follow the law and give applicants notice and time to correct any incorrect information.

A good background check helps job seekers stay competitive. Even for job seekers with a clean criminal history, it’s still possible to miss an opportunity because of an adverse background check. That’s because screening usually includes other elements like contact with previous employers and verification of other information on the resume.

As polished as the resume looks, if it includes inaccurate information, employers aren’t going to be impressed. Previous employers don’t always offer feedback, but their negative reviews can also be a screening hurdle. In some situations, positive reviews from former employers and being honest on a resume can turn into a big competitive advantage.

It all boils down to this: background checks do matter—for both job seekers and employers. Getting a good, professional background check isn’t a matter of luck. It’s a matter of having the right partner. Call us today.

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