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References, Credit Checks and Background Searches

Do Your Own Background Search

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Since a lot of employers do background checks, do one yourself to find out what they'll learn.

Look at one of the web sites with background information such as offsite link or offsite link. Both charge small fees.

Don't assume that a former employer won't want to be sued for slander so they won't say anything negative. According to at least one expert in the field, 80% of the time former employers will "spill their guts."

Consider hiring a company that specializes in such reports to conduct one for you. That way, you can discover if the data bases of the information vendors contain erroneous or misleading information. You can also find out what previous employers say about you. Look in your yellow pages under "investigators." To locate a company, on your favorite search engine, type in words such as "reference check." Be sure to check their references before using an unknown search company.

If some of the items that show up in a report appear to be negative, bring them up yourself when applying for a job, and put a positive spin on the facts. If you need help figuring out how to explain part of your past, contact a career coach. Personal coaches act as a combination of job advisors and lifestyle therapists. Be cautious in selecting one. No degree or license or professional certification is required. One place to start your search is to obtain referrals from the International Coach Federation, offsite link or call 888.236.9262.

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