Background Checks Show Employment History and Verification

With the absence of verbal cues and body language, it’s difficult determiningbackground check the validity of something written.

Let’s be honest.

It’s not easy discerning truth from a lie and an exaggeration, especially on resumes.

This is where background checks come in.

As you may well know, background checks show information such as a candidate’s employment history and verification of their current and previous employment.

With verified employment history, you can reduce your company’s turnover rates and limit the chances of making bad hires.

We’re sure you’re already aware of this, but in case you aren’t, your candidates must consent to a background check before you can implement it.

You must also disclose to the candidates that a background check will be used in the hiring process.

By now, your candidates already listed their employment history on their resume so they’re good to go, right?

Not quite.

A background check shows employment history and verification that will allow you to:

  • Verify and possibly contact listed places of employment
  • Confirm start and end dates are accurate
  • Verify job titles
  • Confirm job duties
  • Determine the validity of salary history
  • See if credentials and licenses are up-to-date
  • Determine eligibility for hiring

It’s important applicants double-check their resume and application to avoid potential discrepancies in these areas that WILL show on a background check.

It’s ultimately at your discretion to determine how far back you want to go with checking their employment history.

Employment History

We know this is obvious, but potential employees should only list companies on their resume that they worked for.

It may seem obvious to you, but, shockingly enough, 85% of employers caught applicants fibbing on their resumes or applications last year.

Even if you’re unsuccessful in contacting their listed places of employment (candidates must give their permission for you to do this), you can request other documents such as a W-2 to confirm their previous employment.

Employment Dates

Background checks show and confirm employment gaps and sometimes a candidate’s reasons for leaving previous jobs.

Whatever employment dates they’ve put on their resume, background checks will verify this for you.

You’ll no longer have to guess whether the candidate listed the correct start and end dates.

Listing Job Titles and Duties

Some of your previous or current employees may need to check in with you to ensure they have listed their job titles and duties correctly.

The last thing you’ll want them to do is list themselves as an administrative assistant while your confirming them as a maintenance worker during the background check.

Awkward, right?

A mistake like this will make it seem like they lied on their resume or exaggerated their job title and duties.

It has been reported that one-third of all resumes have a degree of puffery.

Salary History

Background checks will show you if the candidate is providing the correct salary history for their previous employment.

You don’t want to discover that your potential employees are boosting their previous salaries, so you’ll offer them more money.

Credentials and Licenses

Did you notice employment credentials or licenses listed on a candidate’s resume?

Are they up-to-date?

We don’t expect you to know the answer to that question just by looking at their resume.

Employment history and verification checks can show whether candidates’ credentials and licenses are accurate and current.

If candidates are making it seem as if this information is still valid and it really isn’t, you’ll know the truth when you conduct a background check.

Eligibility for Hiring

If candidates have a history of employment, that means they are eligible to be hired, correct?

Not necessarily.

Along with background checks, you’re required by law to have new hires complete an I-9 form. This form helps you verify their eligibility to work within the U.S.

Without this form, you cannot give an account of their legal ability to work for you. We discuss I-9 forms more in depth in our article called “Charting the I-9 Process.”

What to Do

Before you accept the next resume and job application sent to you, review these documents again.

It is important to verify that everything on your candidates’ resumes and job applications are truthful.

Seeing exaggerations and poorly written facts in a resume is a red flag.

If their background check shows a discrepancy that may be used against them in the hiring process, you must share the report with them.

They will then be given the opportunity to correct or explain the discrepancy.

If you’re sure everything is correct with their employment history, be on the lookout for our next background check blog: education history.


The Orsus Group blog is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be comprehensive, and is not a substitute for and should not be construed as legal advice. The Orsus Group does not warrant any statements in this blog. Any statutes or laws cited herein should be read in their entirety. You should direct to your own experienced legal counsel questions involving your organization’s compliance with or interpretation or application of laws or regulations and any additional legal requirements that may apply.