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Search Topic 27:

Self-Check Employment Screening

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by Joseph Ryan, Editor

I.  Overview Of Topic

Unemployment is soaring. Many employers are freezing new hiring and few jobs are available. Despite a very modest improvement in recent months, the jobmarket is hovering around 9.5% unemployment, unthinkable four years ago. In most fields and industries, competition for the best jobs is almost overwhelming.

Is there anything you can do to stand out from the pack?

Actually, there is a new idea that's catching on.

Some job seekers are now paying to have background check reports run on themselves, and then offering these reports to prospective employers.

Why might this help you?

Simply because, first, it enables you to find out if any erroneous information is being reported about you. And second, it reassures potential employers that the qualifications you present in your resume are true and correct. Studies have found that as many as 44% of resumes and applications contain inaccuracies or outright deceptions.

Nowadays, before an employer hires you, he/she will almost always conduct a background check. The fact you have presented your own self-background-check suggests that a problem is not likely to crop up when the employer runs its own background check. In other words, it suggests that the employer will not uncover something which will cause him/her to have to disqualify you right at the end of the hiring process thereby wasting company time and resources.

What's more, as said, if by chance there is some mistake being made in compiling your background check, for example, a State is erroneously reporting you have a criminal record when if fact you don't, running your own background check will alert you to this problem so you can take steps to correct it before an employer sees it.

Bottom Line: This may be a good preemptive strategy in today's killer jobmarket. But how do you go about it and how much does it cost?


First, employment background checks are not usually referred to as "background checks" by human resources professionals -- and they actually consist of much more than simple background checks.. They're called "Pre-Employment Checks" or "Employment Screening Reports."

Certain companies specialize in doing these reports for employers, in fact, it's a big business. Each report usually contains at least four items of information about you:  identity verification (based on verifying your social security number), educational and employment verification, and a criminal records check. These are the basic elements of a standard employment screening report (though other types of information, such as credit checks, driving records, bankruptcies, etc. are included in the reports used by some industries).

You may ask, What about job references? Checking job references is not part of a standard employment screening report. These reports usually only verify past employment and possibly request your "reason for leaving" from your previous employers. The task of calling up the past supervisors and asking for verbal references is often left to the prospective employer.

Nowadays, most employers get their employment screening reports via the Internet. The employment screening company develops its report on you then posts it to a secure web page, giving the URL (Web page address) and the password to the employer that ordered it.

There's no reason you can't hire a screening company to do this for you, i.e., to develop an Employment Screening report on you, thus enabling you to make it available to any prospective employer you select.

What does one of these reports look like? Click here to view a sample report.


The strategy is simple. Get your own employment screening report done, then offer it to an employer as a way of reassuring him that you're on the up-and-up. This is not at all an uncommon practice these days. You can attach a printed copy of your Self-Check Employment Screening Report to your resume, or you can simply provide the URL (and password) where the prospective employer can view it online -- that is, include it in your resume or mention it in your cover letter.

But will it help? Well, consider a situation where he or she is interviewing three equally-qualified people. You're the only one who's taken the initiative to offer him this type of reassurance. It's got to be a plus in your favor, regardless of your field or the level of job you're applying for.

Our firm, Washington Research Associates, Inc., has been in the employment screening business since 1994 (see our business website, E-EmploymentScreening ), and we'll gladly accommodate your request for a full confidential Self-Check Employment Screening report. We'll post your completed report on a secure web page and provide you with the URL and password so that it will be available to prospective employers for review at your discretion.

As to the price of the report, you'll receive our standard 30% discount for new clients, making the price for your self-check report only $77.


If you'd like to order a Self-Check Employment Screening Report, send us an email with the subject heading, "Self-Check Employment Screening Report." Simply indicate in your email that you are interested in having a Self-Check Employment Screening Report conducted and what your field or occupation is, or what type of position you're seeking. We'll get back to you right away with a personalized response on how to get and then utilize a Self-Check appropriate for your specific field or occupation. (Note: We'll need to have a signed release from you faxed to us before we can prepare your report. A release form will be provided in our return email.)

By the way, an additional important benefit of having a self-check report done is that it will alert you if anyone has been using your identity falsely. If identity theft has been occurring it will be evident to you when you review the "Identity Verification" section of your report.


But what if your report comes back with misinformation? Suppose, for example, it erroneously indicates you've been convicted of a serious crime, or suppose one of your former employers misreports that you never worked for them?

This would mean that misinformation has been reported by a State government or by your former employer. This does happen on occasion and it's important that you discover that it's happening to you before a potential employer sees your report!

If you do find misinformation, then you need to get it corrected before jumping into the jobmarket. Your first step should be to contact us to find out where the misinformation came from, then to get in touch with that governmental or business organization and get it corrected. There will be an email address and telephone number on your report which you can use to contact us.

Again, to have a Self-Check Employment Screening report conducted, email us and we'll send you the needed information and release form immediately by return email. We'll supply your completed online report, which you can then offer to prospective employers, in 1-2 business days.


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III.Discussion Group


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