The Importance of Honesty in Employment Background Checks

One of the most important aspects of job hunting is being honest on your resume and application. Falsifying information in order to help your chances of being hired will only cause a great deal of trouble for you. Since many employers utilize background checks, it’s possible that you could be disqualified from employment if the truth is discovered.

Lying to your potential employer could show him or her that you are not an honorable person and could be damaging not only to your own reputation, but to the organization. Employers want someone they can rely on with good work ethics. Being dishonest about your past history can cause repercussions that you may not realize.

Here are the topics you must be completely honest about:

1. Education 

Your education in a specific field is a great asset to your resume. However, proof of your attendance at colleges or trade schools is easily obtained through a background check and can reveal if you were actually enrolled. Employers are looking for more than just education most of the time–they are looking for someone with education and experience. Internships are a good way to gain experience even if the pay is low or non-existent.

2. Reason for Leaving 

The circumstances surrounding your dismissal from your previous job could damage your desirability as an employee. However, you should never lie about the reasons behind it. As long as you learned from your mistakes of the past, you could still be in consideration for the position. For instance: if you’ve been fired for excessive tardiness at a job, explain to the potential employer how it affected you as a person and why you are aspiring to improve yourself. If you lied about your reasons for leaving a specific position within a company, the potential employer is sure to find out when they contact your previous employer. Be forthcoming and admit your mistakes. Employers love it when an employee takes responsibilities for his or her actions.

3. Felony Convictions 

This is probably one of the worst things to try and cover up. While some employers may decide to hire someone without a felony record, hiding this information can be very detrimental. As long as you explain yourself surrounding the circumstances, it may play in your favor. If the employer is going to toss your application in the trash anyway, you might as well be honest about your past.

If for some reason you are hired without including your felony record, the employer is sure to fire you if and when they find out. And this could start a domino effect as your next potential employer may call your previous one whom fired you for lying about your record. This process makes it exceedingly difficult to find employment of any kind.

4. Work Experience 

As most employers want someone who has some kind of work experience, many feel the need to pad and add as much as they can on the application and resume in order to look good. You want to be careful with what you add, however. The prospective employer will most likely verify your qualifications.

If you are lacking professional experience in your specific field, why not put your talents to good use? Become a freelance professional while you are looking for a full-time job. Experience as a freelancer is far better than none at all. Whether it is local employment or using online services, freelancing could be a great benefit to your resume and application. It shows that although you were unemployed, you are still doing what you can to make ends meet, and demonstrates dedication and determination.

5. Explaining Yourself in Detail 

Never be ashamed of your past. Even the worst cases can be viewed as learning experience – as long as you corrected the behavior. An employer wants honesty in his or her employees. They want to know that your current aspirations are above and beyond any negatives your past may bring to light. As long as you show remorse for any wrong doings and strive to be a better person, you could find yourself gainfully employed regardless of previous dismissals. It is always safe to assume that your potential employer already knows the circumstances surrounding your dismissal by performing a background check. It would be senseless to lie about it.

A background check will reveal a great deal about your history depending on the type of check the employer is going to conduct. There are some employers that will even run credit checks as a way to determine if your financial needs surpass your employment ambitions. Although this kind of a check doesn’t reflect the kind of worker you may be, some will conduct these searches anyway. Be honest with yourself and your potential employer as he or she may still be impressed with your skills and knowledge, regardless of your past.

Jack Meyers is a regular contributor for As a detective he wants to spread the knowledge of terrible things that can happen when people don’t fully verify the credentials of a caregiver or any employee. He also writes for various law enforcement blogs and sites.