Career Advice

A Simple Guide to Understanding Employer Background Checks

Career Stuff December 5, 2022

If you've ever been through the job application process, chances are you've had to undergo a background check. But what exactly is an employer background check? What kind of information do they look for? How long does it take? This guide will answer all your questions and help you feel more confident when applying for jobs!

What Information Will an Employer Background Check Include?

The information that employers are allowed to access during your background check depends on the type of job and where you live. In general, however, most employers will want to verify basic information such as your work history, education, criminal record, and even credit score. Some employers may also request a copy of your driver's license or social security card.

How Long Does a Background Check Take?

The length of time it takes for an employer to complete a background check can vary depending on the complexity of the search. Most employers use third-party companies that specialize in conducting these types of searches. These companies usually have their own timelines for completing checks, so it's best to factor in at least two weeks from the date the employer requests the information until they have received the results.

What Rights Do I Have During An Employer Background Check?

It's important to remember that while employers can conduct a thorough background check on you, they are required by law to follow certain procedures and protocols. For example, if an employer intends to use any type of screening tests or exams during the hiring process, they must notify you in writing beforehand and provide detailed instructions about how to prepare for such tests or exams. Additionally, employers can only access certain types of information with your written consent. It's always best practice to read any documents thoroughly before signing them so that you know exactly what rights you are granting an employer during the background check process.

Employer background checks can be intimidating but understanding what information an employer may access can help put your mind at ease! Knowing what documents you'll need ahead of time as well as understanding your legal rights throughout this process can make things go much smoother overall. With this simple guide in hand, there’s no need to worry about undergoing an employer’s background check—now you know exactly what to expect! Good luck with your job search!