It’s always better to ask questions first, rather than clean up the mess later.
Whether you’re doing a background check because of online dating, employment, hiring a nanny or other reason, it’s important to strike a balance between not jumping to conclusions and giving true, careful analytical consideration to the information you find.
There are some common red flags that show up and this quick-reference will help you identify and know what to do with them.
Crimes/Felonies: Some applications don’t differentiate between misdemeanors and felonies…they just ask if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime. Some will specify “felony” and not consider misdemeanors. In either case, the omission of these things is an obvious red flag. No one wants to have to admit these things on a resume, but if they’re omitted and then discovered through a background check, that’s far worse than admitting it to begin with. This is one area in particular to never take lightly.
Employment Gaps: Especially in the economy of the past few years, this is showing up more and more…and it may even be a fact of life on your own resume. The key with this (and with many red flags) is to see a pattern of behavior. Some gaps are easily explainable…hirings and firings in sales positions happen as often as we breathe in and breathe out. When you see these gaps on a resume or background check, first take a look at how often they have happened. Secondly, look at how long the person has typically lasted at a particular job. This, too, can be an indicator of how well the person interacts with others, as well as how dependable they may or may not be.
Inconsistencies In Educational Information: The obvious one here is falsifying educational information on a resume’. It has been done (notoriously by Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson, resulting in his firing) and unfortunately will be done again. Most commonly, people will say they earned a degree when they actually didn’t. One other aspect to consider is whether or not they have attended multiple colleges and if they have, whether or not they completed the degree program(s). This can be a major indicator of dependability.
Categories: General Background Check Tips