Is it a Good Idea to Run a Background Check On Yourself?

For many years, we’ve encouraged businesses to take advantage of employee background check services in Charlotte, NC. And many businesses have taken us up on that, since background checks lead to better hires. But what if you’re sitting on the other side of the table? Is it a good idea to have a professional investigator like Barefoot Professional Investigations run a pre-employment background check on you? Background checks help job-seekers, too. But how you approach the process can make a big difference.


What’s in a Pre-Employment Background Check?

When an employer is running a pre-employment background check, what are they looking for?

  • Identity verification: Are you who you say you ware, with a valid SSN and address history?
  • Work history: Have you worked where you said you did?
  • Criminal history: A history of arrests or convictions, criminal activity, assault, substance abuse, sexual offenses, and open warrants (among other items) is one of the most commonly-checked parts of applicants’ backgrounds.
  • Civil history: Not all misconduct rises to a criminal record, so a good background check also looks for items like defamation and breach of contract that can speak to an applicant’s character.
  • Financial information: You may have a snow-white past but still be flagged for poor credit, a spotty payment history, or bankruptcy; this is especially true for businesses dealing with money, finances, or sensitive information.
  • Certifications and education: If your profession relies on specialized credentials and certifications, or a certain educational attainment, your employer is likely to verify that information.
  • Digital footprint: Your digital footprint is the sum total of your online activity — think social media and forum postings, comments, and the other digital traces you leave behind. While locking down your social media presence is always a best practice, it’s far from foolproof; you should assume that everything you’ve said is a matter of public record.


When to Run a Background Check On Yourself

Up to this point, we’ve talked about pre-employment background checks similar to those run by employers. And certainly, if you’re either thinking of re-entering the workforce after a long absence, considering changing employers, or actively looking for work, it’s a good idea to consider running one on yourself. But that’s not the only time it’s a good idea.

Here’s why. Fraud is increasingly common. With it, more employers are turning to a system of periodic background checks on current employees in order to protect their businesses. Your activities may have been completely on the up-and-up, but fraudulent activity carried out in your name by a third party — fraudulent loans, bad checks, and a wide range of other activities — can be turning your professional reputation to tatters without your knowledge. That, in turn, can lead to an employer looking on you with suspicion, or may result in you being passed over for promotions and other opportunities. Just as you’d run a credit report to ensure its accuracy, making sure your background information is accurate matters.


How to Background Check Yourself

By now, you’ve probably got a good idea of why you should be running a background check. But, as we’ve reminded employers countless times, how you check is as important as what you check. Many DIY background check services aren’t nearly as thorough as they should be, or claim to be. Furthermore, the information they unearth may be incomplete or riddled with errors. Since it’s your own reputation you’re protecting, it’s important to be as diligent as possible, and to hire a professional investigator who will treat your reputation as carefully as they would their own. That’s why so many in the Charlotte area rely on Barefoot Professional Investigations. For a confidential consultation, get in touch today!