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Ask Consumer Ed: Background checks

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ATLANTA -

What if you are turned down for a job because the information found on a background check didn't match up to what was on the job application? How do you make sure they do match up?

According to Ask Ed, you should first know that different businesses have different practices.  There will be a more in-depth look at who you are if you're applying for a job as a police officer or a teacher.  

But for most of us,  the bar is a little lower but it's still an issue you need to know about.  According to the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection, this is the type of information that can be part of a background check:    

1. Credit Report
2. Criminal Background Check
3. Social Media Check Up

Let's start with the credit report. These days a potential employer might want to see that.  But Ask Ed says, they have to ask your permission first.  You can say no, but know that you might not get the job.
 
If you are applying for the type of job that requires a criminal background check, Ask Ed suggests paying to get one first.  If you had a crazy youth, see what's on there. Also, make sure you ask the potential employer for a copy of the background check he gets.

Next, do a little house cleaning and tidy up those social network accounts. Get rid of crazy pictures, even if they're just for fun. Something that was posted when you were 21 might be out of place with an adult job you're looking for years later.

John Sours, from the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection, says the key is being prepared.

"Be prepared to explain gray areas or discrepancies, because they can be there was well. No public record, just like any private record, is going to be perfect," said Sours.

You should know that for certain jobs a potential employer may talk to your neighbors or friends, and even past employers.

To read consumer Ed's newsletter, click here!

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