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Extending a job offer is, and should almost always be, contingent upon the completion of a favorable background check for that prospective employee. Often times, a person’s application may leave out some rather important details regarding a troubled past, whether that be included in previous jobs, or his or her personal life. Here are just a few results that background checks can yield or confirm, should an applicant fail to mention anything beforehand.

Criminal Record

Typically, the first issue to arise in the hiring process is an applicant’s criminal record. Depending on how far back said crime was committed, this may or may not come up in a background check depending on the state’s laws. Study the severity of the potential employee’s crimes closely before making a decision. While some may be worse than others, applicants should, sometimes, be given the opportunity to explain the reasoning for their criminal record with evidence to support their claims.

Education and Certifications

Resumes may be overflowing with the accomplishments and degrees of applicants. However, a simple lie about whether or not a degree was obtained will show, and the cause of failing to receive that degree may vary. If an applicant is just a few credits shy of being recognized as a college graduate, that university may deny them their degree, despite what that person’s application says. Most certifications are public records, and can be easily verified as well. These can include military records, volunteering for organizations, or professional certifications in a range of fields.

Employee References

Many jobseekers today consider the references section of an application fairly unimportant, and may treat it accordingly. Depending on company policy, some employers may be prohibited from reaching out to an applicant’s professional references. However, confirming with these references that they can attest to the success and accomplishments of the applicant can be extremely helpful in the decision-making process.

Credit Report

While this may not show on a background check, being given written permission by the potential employee to review his or her credit history is required before seeking such information. If the request is obliged, this can give a great deal of insight into their personal financing abilities, or lack thereof. Results that may be found include bankruptcy, information on loans, or accounts placed for collection. A few careers that do require credit checks however, include accounting, law enforcement, financing, and handling mortgage loans. But, under the FCRA, employers do not have access to bankruptcies past ten years, or accounts placed for collection after seven.


The verification of this requirement does show up on background checks, and can be easily confirmed by the applicant’s social security number; the validation of which approving his or her eligibility to work in the United States. Though this is an obvious consideration before hiring, it is crucial. Fines for hiring illegal employees can range from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on the number of those working at the time.

Having newly hired employees fill out an I-9 form, or Employment Eligibility Verification Form, is very important for this reason. Applicants must attest that they are a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident, a Non-U.S. citizen national, or a Non-U.S. citizen with work authorizations. The completion of this form is not done before hiring an employee, but typically on the first day of his or her employment, filling out the first section themselves. Employers must fill out the second section no later than three days of hiring said employee. These forms are legal obligations, and should be treated as such in order to properly verify an employee’s work eligibility.