Getting close to a job offer is certainly a relief for any job seekers. A common questions job seekers have is whether a background check is a good sign that they’re about to be hired.
It’s not a 100% guarantee that you have the job but it sure is a good sign that you may receive an offer.
A background check usually comes at the end of the hiring process. Employers will typically conduct a background check before they’re about to make an offer. They may be conducting a background check on a hand full of candidates they’re considering making an offer to. It’s impossible to know if you’re the only one they’re considering – or if there a hand full of final contenders they’re running a background check on.
It’s impossible to give an exact time frame but you should hear something within a week or two after a background check.
It takes anywhere from 2-5 days to conduct a background check. The hiring manager would then usually need a few days to make a final decision or put together an offer.
Although a background check is a good sign that you’re being seriously considered for the job, don’t sit back and wait for the offer. Keep applying to as many positions as you’re qualified for.
Remember that most employer automatically screen your resume with ATS (Applicant Tracking System) software. These systems reject nearly 75% of resumes so you need to ensure you use a standard format and include relevant keywords on a resume.
#1 – Past Employment History
They may be checking to verify that all of your experience listed matches your records. Make sure that all of the dates and company names/titles listed on your resume are accurate. Many job seekers “stretch” their employment dates to avoid having gaps on their resume. This isn’t a good idea because if the background check reveals something different – the hiring manager would see that as a red flag and may reject your application.
(We wrote a good post here on dealing with employment gaps on a resume.)
#2 – Education
The employer may also verify that you earned the degree(s) listed on your resume or application. Lying about your education is a serious offense which could get you in trouble so ensure that the education section of your resume is accurate and up to date.
#3 – Criminal Record
This is straight forward – most employers will check your criminal record before making an offer.
They are checking for:
– violent offenses
– sex crimes
– fraud or embezzlement
– felony convictions
#4 – Credit History
The employer may also check your credit history if the position will allow you to have any sort of financial authority.
According to the FTC – Here are what employer are not allowed to check for:
A background check is certainly a good sign that you may get hired but that doesn’t mean your job search is over. Keep on applying to as many positions as you’re qualified for.
Good luck with your job search!