Job hunting has become more competitive and stressful than ever. Even when the job description looks like it was written just for you, that isn’t a guarantee that you will get it.
Before you take that initial step to apply for a position, it is important that you get your ducks in a row, so to speak, and be ready for the arduous hiring process that most companies have adopted.
One of the most important resources that a hiring manager or recruiter will utilize is the personal and professional reference check. Being prepared for the reference check will allow the process to be done in a quick and efficient manner and hopefully end with a positive reference.
Not all companies approach the reference check in the same manner. For instance, some companies use the reference check as a way to sort through potential candidates before the interview process even takes place. If this happens, you won’t even know that they called your references until it has already happened. This is one instance where being prepared can give you that extra edge needed to get your foot in the door for an interview. You can be prepared by having your references in order and ensuring that they are prepared for the possibility of being called upon on your behalf.
Other companies wait until you have already gone through the interview process to begin calling on your references. In these cases, you have more time to advise those people you listed that a call is imminent. While this scenario allows you more time to prepare your references, it makes sense to have the preparation already done long before this to ensure the best possible feedback.
If a person you listed as a reference is called and you haven’t gotten permission to use them as a reference, or notified them that they may get a call, it can lead to one of the following negative outcomes:
- The call goes unanswered or unreturned. If your reference doesn’t know that a call may be coming, they may ignore the call or put it on the backburner. A recruiter or hiring manager is not going to want to waste a lot of time tracking someone down to give you a reference, so they may quickly move on to the next candidate. Timing is everything. A quick response on a reference check can go a long way in getting you to the next step of the hiring process.
- The reference may be unprepared. The people you list on your references should be prepared to answer questions about you and your experience. The worst thing that can happen is the person you list gets a call and they don’t remember who you are when asked. Another possibility is that the call comes in and their review of you is only adequate or they can’t call to mind any specifics that stand out about you. Prepare your reference! Contact each person in advance and give them time to prepare their response. It is completely acceptable to go over their responses with them ahead of time and remind them of your accomplishments and skills.
Background checks for employment purposes have become a standard tool for the majority of businesses in today’s job industry. Even with Ban the Box initiatives in full force across the country, background checks are still an important part of the hiring process.
You can do your part by understanding what may show up on your background check ahead of time. SB Checks’ Self Check App is a great way to review any information ahead of time so that there are no surprises. Even if you know that you’re background is squeaky clean, you can never be sure that records haven’t been mislabeled, misfiled or mistakenly applied to the wrong person. This is especially important if you have a common name where there is a greater probability of a mistake being made.
While you can’t control what screening company a hiring manager or recruiter will use for your background check during the hiring process, you can have your own check done ahead of time by a reputable and professional company like SB Checks. Time after time there have been news stories of criminal records being returned on the wrong person because of a wrong middle initial or date of birth. Again, you don’t have control over the employer’s choice of background screening companies, but you can ensure your self check is done correctly through SB Checks. Having a completed background self-background check in your hand will also give you the ability to quickly dispute any mistaken findings on a company background check.
Identity theft is another concern that can be removed by running a self-background check. Identity theft is becoming more predominant in today’s technology-based society and just because you haven’t received a bill for thousands of dollars on a credit card you didn’t open, doesn’t mean that someone hasn’t tapped into your identity for another purpose. Criminals have stolen identities to fraudulently rent an apartment or home and for the purpose of employment. A self-check will immediately bring up any red flags that you need to be concerned about and allow you the time to address them before a prospective employer sees them. Don’t wait until you’re on the defensive to explain your background check, be proactive and ready to explain anything that may show up. This will show the hiring manager that not only do you have the skills and experience to do the job, but that you are a take-charge and organized person who is willing to go the extra mile.
SB Checks’ Self Check App offers three different tiers of reports to give you the peace of mind you need. Go online today to order or call (888)725-2535 for more information!