The unknown is a terribly scary thing, especially when it comes to job hunting. When you're so far along in the career search process that you're finally getting a background check, you really don't want anything bad to happen. Well, what you can do is remove that doubt and understand the process a bit better.
A greater understanding of the entire process will help calm your nerves and it'll help you go forth in the process with confidence. Confidence is one of the biggest success factors when it comes to helping you in your job search and career journey. Too many people, myself included, get so anxious to rush through the process we forget to slow down, maintain focus, and put effort where it's needed most.
To help you focus in the right direction, here are some things that you can expect in the employment background check process. Understand these ideas well enough, get started on incorporating them in your job hunting process, and you can be confident in your future.
Places You've Lived – ALL of Them
You might as well go ahead and start collecting every place you've lived in the last seven to ten years. I'm talking about down to the nitty-gritty details here, folks. At a minimum, they'll want to know your zip code, apartment number, how long you lived there, the date you started living there, the day you moved out, and all of that stuff.
They're going to ask for it and they aren't going to give you a ton of time to get it all together. They might not ask for the full ten year history, but it's probably going to be somewhere between five and ten years. It can be very difficult to find the earlier stuff, so the earlier you start, the better.
Legal Actions and Records
Now, you may be pristine and not have anything on your record, but if you've ever received a driving ticket, then you might need to do a little more research.
Yes, sometimes they go to that level of detail, and if you've had a ticket within the past five years or so they might need specific dates and information on each infraction.
If you've done more serious things, you should already be aware of them and have that written down or in records, too. They will most definitely need to know about every criminal offense in your past.
However, if you are basically spotless and don't have any of these minor records readily available, you might want to go ahead and request them from the official government sources right now.
It can take some time to get all of your records in order, for instance, your driving records. I recall this taking a few weeks to finally come in for me. There were a few small "records retreval" type fees associated with the request, but nothing too terribly wallet destroying.
Your Friends, References, & Family
They'll want to also know just about everything on all of your closest friends, especially your references, and all of your family. This includes your step family, families of marriage or families-in-law, and sometimes several layers out (including previous relationships).
Again, we're talking addresses, ages, relationships, full names, including middle names you might not know, and other such detailed things. This is very important information you have to gather together. I hate to repeat it a million times, but this is a ton of work so the earlier you start, the better off you'll be.
Remove All Fear and Start Collecting
You can really start to gain confidence, calm your nerves, and collect this data early in your employment background check process and really do away with the fear of the unknown. The last thing you want to do is be scared away when you're this far in getting a new job.
Start your data collection today and be confident that you can do this new job. Be confident you can be an awesome employee and have a future you're happy with. You got this!