What Potential Employers Do Not Want to Find in Your Background Check

by Johnny Kilhefner

Your potential employer wants to know everything about you when it comes to your candidacy for their company. As such, there are certain avenues they will search to uncover any dirt under your nails. In addition to the traditional criminal and credit checks, employers will also look online to vet a new hire. Social media searches may check your Facebook page, Google, LinkedIn, and old forum posts with your IP address attached.

Criminal Record

Having a criminal record probably is the most damaging evidence against potential employees. Depending on the state, an employer may deny the worker the job due to the presence of criminal charges or convictions alone. In some states, however, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, doesn't allow an employer to deny employment based on the charge alone. The employer must also take into account the offense, when it happened, and how it relates to the job.

Compromising Pictures

Searching a prospective employee's Facebook page is one of the easiest ways employers find negative details about applicants and employees. Tagged high school photos may reveal a side of you that you don't want your potential employer to see. For instance, pictures of drunken shenanigans paint you in an unfavorable light. Even when a picture is removed from some sites, the image may be retained, and could be retrieved by firms seeking to check out an applicant.

Questionable Online Activity

Employers may also find your online activity from years ago, and one questionable incident can keep you from getting the job. For instance, posting on a drug-related forum may cost you the job if an employer finds it. Similarly, posting slanderous or racist remarks, or belonging to racist groups online, is a sure way not to get hired. Employers will search past forum use, Craigslist, social media "likes" and more to discover questionable behavior.

What You Should Do

To keep your nose clean and your job potential strong, make sure that everything you post online is something that you wouldn't mind an employer seeing in the future. Keep your online posts positive and composed with good grammar. De-tag compromising photos of yourself from your social media sites and ask the photo owners to remove them. Get rid of any of your comments that are negative or braggadocio in nature.

About the Author

Johnny Kilhefner is a writer with a focus on technology, design and marketing. Writing for more than five years, he has contributed to Writer's Weekly, PopMatters, Bridged Design and APMP, among many other outlets.

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