An employee's resume says a lot about him. Through this document, the employer is able to determine if an applicant is qualified for the position he is applying for. However, there are some reported instances of applicants including bogus information on their resume. Applicants do this sometimes because they want to impress the employer into thinking that they are very suitable for the position.

Because of this, some employers opt to do an employment background check, both for their current employees and job applicants. Some states require employment background checks so they are conducted, especially for those who are applying for jobs that that involve working with children, elderly or disabled, but companies mostly just want to put emphasis on its security and safety, and want to make sure that the people in the company are not lying their way to a job.

The FCRA or Fair Credit Reporting Act sets the standard for employment background checks, but it does not require background checks to companies. One of the FCRA requirements is to inform the employee or applicant about the check first before conducting it, and get their written authorization for it. Conducting inquiries also require consent from the people concerned. Applicants who do not wish to have their background information uncovered may pull out of the job because some irrelevant information that they are trying to bury in the past may resurface and potentially affect their application.

Some of the information that will be uncovered during background checks includes:

  • Bankruptcy information

  • Character and personal references

  • Court records

  • Credit records

  • Criminal and incarceration records

  • Driving records and vehicle registration

  • Drug test records

  • Past employers

  • Property ownership

  • Sex offender lists

  • State licensing records

  • The employee's history and acquaintances

  • Verification of the Social Security number

  • Workers' compensation

Despite the large amount of information, there are still some details about the employee or applicant that is still considered confidential. Under federal and/or state laws, the following information cannot be revealed without the permission of the concerned person.

  • School records

  • Military service records

  • Medical records