How to Successfully Pass Background Checks in 2019

During the pre-employment stage, employers check the information presented on a CV to ensure an applicant has the correct credentials for the job before employment commences.

Simple errors or delays at this final stage of the recruitment process can hold up the start date of employment. Worse still, it can result in the job offer being withdrawn completely.

In fact, our research has shown that background checks are getting tougher and tougher, with the number of applicant failure checks doubling in the last two years.

Being prepared and honest in the face of increasingly stringent vetting checks has never been more important.

Be Prepared

Searching for a job can be a stressful and time-consuming task. Planning and writing a CV and cover letter, completing application forms, and studying for interviews can be overwhelming.

The last thing you want to do is jeopardise all this hard work by being unprepared for the final stage of securing employment – the pre-employment screening process.

Preparation is key to ensure you glide through the pre-employment screening process.

You will be asked to provide critical documents to prove you are indeed who you say you are. Delays may arise if you’ve not kept such documents accessible.

The following documents are often requested – so be sure to have these on hand.

  • Passport - If you do not have your passport it is always best to send additional proof of identity, such as your full birth certificate and an additional form of photographic ID i.e. driving licence.

Be sure to provide documentation to support your eligibility to work in the UK such as your visa or BRP.

  • Proof of address – a utility bill or bank statement dated within last three months.
  • Proof of National Insurance – NI numbers can be found on an NI card, P45, P60 or any official Inland Revenue letters.

HMRC can also be contacted directly to obtain a copy if you cannot find it.

  • Referee details – Contact information from either a member of the HR team or an employment agency.
  • Name change – You may also be asked to provide proof of a name change, i.e. marriage certificate, deed poll.

This is especially important if your qualifications are in a different name.

Be Honest

Honesty is essential for a smooth sailing vetting journey. The more truthful you are the easier the process will be.

Dishonesty can lead to issues once the vetting process begins, especially in referencing periods of employment.

What may seem like a slight elaboration of dates of employment or a minor exaggeration of a job title can create problems when the alteration is highlighted.

It is essential that job titles are not fabricated in any way, exactly matching your employment contract.

The same level of honesty is required for:

  • Employment referencing – Ensure all titles, as well as the start and end dates of employment, are accurate.

These details can be found on your employment contracts, payslips or HMRC documentation such as a P60.

  • Criminal checks – prior to checks being carried out, it’s always best to disclose any unspent criminal convictions.

Do this no matter how small the conviction i.e. a minor driving offence.

  • Financial checks - Disclose any adverse financial history that you are aware of – CCJS, bankruptcies, trust deeds or IVA’s.

If possible, provide dates and details of the adverse information i.e. court date and value of judgement

  • Education verification - Indicate the name of the institution you studied at, the dates you studied the course and the award and grade you gained as stated on your degree certificate or academic transcript.

If only part of a course has been completed this should be clearly stated on the CV as ‘not fully awarded’ or left off the CV completely.

Doing so reduces the risk of the employer thinking you have fabricated your qualifications.

Set for Success

If you follow these simple guidelines, it greatly reduces the risk of you falling at the final hurdle.

Preparation and honesty should ensure you don’t lose out on your dream job.

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