Your access to a quality job is your access to a better quality of life. That’s probably why so many people fear that their chances of getting hired for the job of their dreams may be jeopardized by past run-ins with the law. But just how big of a factor is the employer background check, and how worried should you be?

If you’ve submitted an application for a job, you can go ahead and assume that that employer is going to run some form of a background check. However, the employer’s methods for checking your background can make a difference in what shows up. Informal online sources can even yield potentially sensitive information. It’s essential to do what you can to take charge of your reputation before that important interview.

Why do employers check in the first place?

A competitive job market, paired with easy access to information, are making it increasingly common to check a candidate’s background. Sometimes, if confronted with a choice between several candidates with similar qualifications, any differentiator will help. For any job, reliability is key, and arrests or criminal charges can call that reliability into question.

What are they looking for?

Employers differ, but practically ANY conviction, charge, or arrest can be a red flag that calls into question your suitability for the position.

Am I protected?

Laws differ from state to state, but usually, there are consumer protections in place to ensure that your background isn’t used against you. For example, if your employer uses a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) to get the information, they must get your permission before asking for a CRA report, and give you a copy of the report when it comes back. Still, while there are laws in place to protect your privacy, they are extremely hard to enforce. Even though the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) provides protections and guidelines for the use of these records, it’s a whole lot easier for the employer to simply not call you back for the second-round interview if they find something.

As you can see, if you’re concerned about your employment prospects being put at risk by your past, the worst thing you can do is to assume things will be OK. Record Fixer allows you to go directly to the CRAs who maintain these databases of background information and clear up issues like arrests, dropped criminal charges, and expunged convictions, ensuring that your record is clear, like it should be. Don’t wait for a nasty surprise—let Record Fixer help.