What Can Make You Fail a Background Check for a Job?


If the whole job-seeking process weren’t stressful enough, we also have to worry about failing a background check. In this article, we talk about the pitfalls and give tips to pass based on information from CheckPeople and other titans in the background check industry.

Crimes Relevant to Job Tasks

If the candidate has been convicted of a crime relevant to the position they’re applying for, they will fail the check and probably be eliminated from the race. Businesses are obliged to keep their staff and workplaces safe using criminal record-related discrimination. In other words, if you have a criminal record, you could fail the check, but only if the offense you committed is relevant to the job at hand. No employer will reject someone purely on the basis of having a criminal record because they would be breaking the law.

Denial of Security Clearance

Jobs that come with a security clearance requirement hold all applicants to a very high standard. You will fail the background check if you have a serious crime on your records. Examples of such are violent crimes, a crime such as fraud or embezzlement, a cybercrime, a drug-related crime, or tax evasion. A series of minor crimes will also lead to denial of clearance. In addition, crimes related to one’s medical history are a grey area. The US State Department has more information.

Bad Credit History

Not all background checks have a credit history component. Those that do and show bad credit will not work in your favor, especially if you’re applying for a position in finance. That said, many hiring managers understand one’s credit rating can result from an unfortunate mistake or a traumatic life event, such as divorce or death of a loved one. Unless the position involves handling funds, you won’t be rejected. If your credit rating is poor, be prepared to be asked about it and reply honestly. They will likely give you the benefit of the doubt.

Embellished Qualifications

Studies show four out of five job seekers lie about work experience and dates of employment. However, providing inaccurate information is not a good idea because your experience and qualifications are exactly why a company would be interested in hiring you. A background check will reveal these lies, and they will make a bad impression. Lying about a date is one thing, but something like entirely fabricating a diploma or certificate will cause you to fail the background check. In fact, you might even be accused of fraud.

How to Pass the Background Check  

Be prepared to talk about your issues if you don’t have a spotless record. Providing clarity and details will help you appear trustworthy. Moreover, you can do a background check on yourself in advance so you know what your prospective employer will see. You can also hire a third party to do the check to make sure the results are completely accurate. This will cost you, but you will only need to do this once. Then, you’re set for any jobs you apply for going forward. If you don’t have the money to hire a background check service, you can do a Google search of your name and remove any posts from your social media that might be deemed objectionable.

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