Career Advice

What if Something Negative Comes up on a Background Check

Job Bullet 16 July, 2021

Sometimes, negative information can come up on your background check. Employers search for various information before they complete the onboarding process. That information includes a criminal background check as well as a credit report check in some cases. The employers have the right to approve or deny your employment offer once they receive the details. Here is what you can do if the employer contacts you and notifies you that something negative has come up in your report:

Explain Your Situation

You will have the opportunity to explain your credit situation and criminal history. In some cases, the employer may be willing to overlook a criminal record that occurred many years ago. They may also be willing to overlook a financial problem that occurs after a divorce. It's up to you to decide whether you would like to disclose such information. You may or may not be permitted to continue the process once you disclose the information.

Dispute the Information

You may also have the opportunity to dispute the information. For example, you might have negative accounts on your credit report that don't belong to you, and you may have a criminal record that was improperly expunged. You can notify the employer of that information and see if they will give you time to resolve the issue.

Request a Probationary Period

Lastly, you can request that the employer give you a chance. Perhaps they can give you a 30-day probationary period where they watch you closely and allow you to work the job they offered. There is no guarantee that they will agree to this, but it's worth a shot. Try it and see how it works for you. You might be surprised to find that the employer is willing to work it out with you if you're honest and forthcoming about your situation.

You can try any of the above tactics if the employer finds something negative in your past. Remember to always be honest on your application, no matter what. Not all employers will deny you a job because of your history.