how far does a background check go for a job

how far does a background check go for a job

What is a background check?

A background check is one of the most commonly used ways to check an individual’s history related to their employment. It is usually conducted by employers prior to offering a job, to help them determine whether the candidate is qualified and suitable for said job. It goes beyond the information you provide in your resume, and provides employers with a broader range of insight into who you are and what you have done throughout your life.

How Far Does a Background Check Go?

A background check can vary in terms of what information it will reveal, depending on the type of check being carried out. The most commonly used background check is generally a criminal record check, and will often include:

  • National Criminal Database Records – includes past arrests, convictions and incarcerations.
  • Court Records – includes civil records, such as bankruptcies, divorces or judgments.
  • Address History – includes addresses for the past 5-10 years.
  • Employment History – includes employment dates, job roles, and salary history.

Can the Background Check Go Further?

In some cases, a more extensive background check may be necessary depending on the job role in question. This could include a ‘bad character’ check, as well a check on any convictions or cautions that an individual may have received in a foreign country, as well as any disqualifying orders. Additional checks could also include a credit check, a driving records check, a social security verification and a reference check amongst others.


Overall, a background check is an invaluable tool to employers and individuals alike, and it can go far beyond the basics of criminal records and addresses. Depending on the job role in question, as well as the preferences of the applicant and employer, a background check can reveal a wide range of information that says a lot about an individual’s history.


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