I wanted to run my background check. I had recently applied for a new job and my employer conducted a background check. I was curious to find out what they had actually found. What I discovered is that the information that was out there about me was quite wide and varied and all depended on what angle the employer was looking from.
My Background Check at Court Records
First, there are federal, state, and county court records, which are all open to the public. An online search will usually reveal whether or not any such records exist. That said, mots people know about themselves whether they have a criminal record, which means they usually also know exactly which county, state, or federal court they should apply to. However, if it is in relation to an arrest that took place more than seven years ago and this arrest did not result in a conviction, it should be hidden from employers as part of the regulations in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Driving records are also very interesting. What can be included in these and how long that can be kept, depends on the state. The DMV website is the place to go to, allowing you to check your record for each state in which a license was held. This is not always free. It is also quite uncommon for employers to do a driving record check.
Credit reports are some of the most hated by individuals. Everything about your personal financial behavior is listed on here. You are allowed to check your own credit report for free from all three of the main agencies (Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union) once per year according to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction (FACT) Act. Make sure you do so, because the information on this report says:
- What your level of debt it.
- What your debt to income ratio is.
- How often your credit report has been requested.
- Whether you currently have accounts in collection.
These reports are often checked by employers to make sure that you told the truth about your educational background. Usually, they are provided by the National Student Clearing House. Of course, you can also send copies of your transcripts or diplomas.
Almost every employer now conducts a social media check. In 2013, 77% of them did so and this has only grown. Social media accounts will be checked so make sure that you know what you have shared about yourself.
If you want to run a quick check on yourself, use a free service to do so or simply enter your own name in Google and see what comes up. The latter may not be the most effective way of finding out exactly what people can know about you, it is an excellent way to find out whether anything exists. Looking at your social media accounts through the eyes of an unlinked connection is also very important.