It's an inevitable fear of those going through the job application process. They've picked out the company of their dreams and they've gotten an offer. Then comes the job background check that could make or break them. For the lucky ones, a job background check is a mere formality that won't uncover anything unseemly. For a few, though, this kind of check could be fatal to their chances. Most people should take a deep breath and understand the check won't crush their hopes. Here are five critical reasons these checks shouldn't scare you.
Many companies hire people with criminal records
A number of well-respected companies hire people who have been convicted of felonies, as long as those people have demonstrated growth since their release. Many more companies hire people who have just been arrested. For those who do their homework and understand the hiring policies of the companies they are applying with, the job background check shouldn't be scary.
Most employers won't find everything
Only the most comprehensive of job background checks will uncover everything about you. In most cases, employers will opt for background checks that are basic and cheap. There may be things lurking in your history that will still elude your future employer unless they are truly investing in the best possible job background check.
Everyone has some kind of history
You may think your divorce and the public record on it makes you unique, but you're mostly wrong. While not every person will have that very public marital spat on their record, most people have something embarrassing in their past. Even the people applying for the job alongside you will have something that brings them shame. In most cases, your history seems worse than it really is in comparison.
Companies have an incentive to hire you if you've gotten to the background check
Many companies won't conduct a background check until they've made the decision to hire a person. This means that the company has probably already invested in you. This will make it much more likely that the company will still decide to hire you unless your record is especially egregious. That disorderly conduct conviction from back in college may not doom your chances.
Truthfulness still counts in the business world
Companies are still interested in those people who are willing to tell the truth about their past. You can distinguish yourself by being up front about your history. You may even be able to spin this into a positive by showing what you learned and how you've grown since your arrest, bankruptcy, or whatever record might be scaring you at the moment.
It doesn't pay to sit around worrying about what your potential employer will uncover in a job background check. In most instances, your fear will be overdone. If you find yourself in the unenviable position of having this worry, it's time to take a breath and consider the facts above. The better question to consider is whether you've done everything in your power to improve your application outside of the questionable background check.