How to Do a Pre-Employment Background Check on Yourself

Attius Li- Author
Atticus Li
Finding a job
May 13, 2024
Blog Post Feature Image

Applying for jobs can bring surprises, especially if employers check your background. Over 93% of them do this before hiring. Our guide will show you how to check yourself first. A pre-employment background check to avoid bumps on your job search road.

Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

1. Conducting a Pre-Employment Background Check on Yourself

2. The Process of Running a Self Background Check

3. What a Background Check Report Includes

4. Do's and Don'ts of  A Self Background Check

5. Benefits of a Self Background Check

6. Frequently Asked Questions about Self Background Checks

Conducting a Pre-Employment Background Check on Yourself

Verify your identity and review potential screening results as part of running a pre-employment background check on yourself.

Uncovering Potential Identity Theft

Checking for identity theft is key during a self background check. This means looking closely at your credit reports from major bureaus like Equifax to spot any strange activity or unknown accounts.

It's crucial because identity thieves might use your information for loans or credit cards, leaving you with the damage.

Identity theft can turn your life upside down, making it vital to catch early.

Services that monitor your credit all the time help find these issues quickly. They alert you about changes in your report, helping stop identity theft before it grows worse. Always keep an eye on your financial statements and watch for signs of unauthorized actions.

Identifying Possible Background Screening Results

You will find many types of information in background screen results. Your report might show your work history, where you went to school, and any times you broke the law. It could also list minor offenses or more serious charges like felonies.

The report checks if you are on any watch lists too. This all comes from public records, federal databases, and sometimes social media.

Next up is how to do a check on yourself. You'll need some personal details first.

The Process of Running a Self Background Check

Running a self background check involves gathering personal information, searching court records, checking credit reports, reviewing online presence, verifying educational and employment history, and checking professional licenses and certifications.

Background checks are a common part of the hiring process. Be proactive and take control of your information.

Gathering Personal Information

Start your self background check by collecting your personal details. First, list all the places you have lived in the last seven to 10 years. This step is crucial for tracking where your records might be.

Make sure to include every address, even if you were there for a short time. Next, gather documents that prove who you are. These include your driver’s license and social security card.

After collecting these details, move on to searching court records. This part checks for any legal issues you might have had in those places.

Searching Court Records

To search court records, visit your local courthouse or its website. Costs for public records can range from a few dollars to over $25 per record depending on the location. This step helps you find criminal history, detentions, and any legal actions tied to your name.

Make sure you check in every state or county where you have lived.

Next, look at your credit reports to understand financial history employers might see.

Checking Credit Reports

After looking into court records, it's critical to check your credit reports as part of a pre-employment background check. By doing so, you can ensure that all the financial information associated with your name is accurate, up-to-date, and free from any suspicious activity.

To track potential identity theft or errors in your credit history, utilize the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which entitles you to one free credit report yearly from each major credit bureau - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows for obtaining a free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus.

Reviewing Online Presence

After checking your credit reports, it's crucial to review your online presence. This involves examining your social media accounts and online activities that may affect your professional image.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can provide insight into your personal life, behavior, and communication style. Take control of what potential employers might discover by ensuring that the content on these platforms reflects positively on you.

In addition to social media, consider conducting a search for any mentions or references of yourself on news websites or other public platforms. 

Pro Tip: Regularly review and adjust your social media posts and comments to project a professional image for potential employers. Avoid posting strong political opinions and be neutral. 

Verifying Educational and Employment History

Ensure accuracy by contacting your former schools you’ve attended. Additionally, verify work history through previous employers and professional organizations.

You can also opt to use reputable background check services to cross-reference your findings with official records.

Checking Professional Licenses and Certifications

After reviewing your educational and employment history, it's crucial to also check the validity of your professional licenses and certifications. This step ensures that the qualifications you possess are current, genuine, and in good standing.

Professional licenses can cover a broad spectrum including medical credentials, legal accreditations, trade certifications, or real estate licensure.

Ensuring the legitimacy of these licenses can be performed by contacting the relevant licensing boards or regulatory authorities. 

For example, verifying a medical license involves checking with state medical boards or specialized verification regulatory authorities to confirm their status.

Similarly, for legal professionals such as attorneys or paralegals, their status can be verified through state bar associations' websites. Every state in the United States has a directory of all licensed attorneys in that state.

What a Background Check Report Includes

A background check report comprises various details about a person's history, such as social security number trace, criminal records review, employment and education history verification, driving records examination, and credit history review.

It also encompasses information on professional licenses or certifications held by the individual.

Social Security Number Trace

A Social Security Number (SSN) trace is a fundamental part of any background check. It provides crucial information on an individual's address history and associated names linked to their SSN.

This data forms the basis for further screening processes, enabling employers and individuals to verify identity, assess potential risk factors, and uncover any instances of identity theft or fraudulent activity related to the SSN.

Additionally, it aids in confirming the accuracy of personal details provided by an individual during the hiring process or self-checks.

The SSN trace draws from various official records, including credit reports, loan applications, and other financial transactions entailing the use of one's social security number. 

These records are instrumental in discerning an applicant’s credibility and integrity while unraveling critical insights about their past engagements that can influence employment decisions.

Criminal Records Review

A criminal records review uncovers felony and misdemeanor convictions, pending cases, and incarceration history as an adult. This check also reveals any arrests and whether the individual's record includes expunged or sealed offenses.

Additionally, it can provide insights into driving under the influence (DUI) and drug-related charges, helping individuals understand what potential employers might discover when conducting a background check.

Moving on to "Employment History Verification"...

Employment History Verification

Moving on from criminal records review, the next vital step in a self-background check is employment history verification. This process ensures accuracy and trustworthiness in your professional track record and can be done by contacting previous employers, collecting pay stubs for detailed work history reports.

Verifying your employment history not only aids in identifying any discrepancies but also gives you confidence in presenting accurate information to potential employers. 

It's an essential part of conducting a comprehensive background check on yourself and crucial when seeking new career opportunities.

The key entities relevant to employment history verification include: The Work Number, wage and income transcript (from the IRS).

Education History Verification

To verify your academic records and degrees, contact the institutions you've attended or use the National Student Clearinghouse online service for a fee. 

This will help ensure that your education history is accurate and can be substantiated when undergoing pre-employment background checks.

Driving Records

Before transitioning to the topic of driving records, it's crucial to understand that education history verification is just one part of a comprehensive background check process. 

When it comes to conducting pre-employment background checks, reviewing a candidate’s driving records is essential for evaluating their public safety data and driver’s license status.

This includes examining felony and misdemeanor convictions, moving violations, suspensions, restrictions, and class.

Conducting driving record checks provides insight into an individual’s motor vehicle-related infractions and offenses. It allows employers to make informed decisions regarding candidates whose roles may involve operating company vehicles or require a clean driving record as part of job requirements.

Credit History Review

After looking into your driving records, it's crucial to also review your credit history. Your credit report shows your borrowing and repayment habits. 

Leveraging keywords from the list provided, a comprehensive self-check ensures you uncover any potential fraudulent activities connected with your social security number or financial discrepancies that could affect background screening results.

Additionally, knowing where you stand with creditors is vital in understanding what a potential employer may discover during their screening processes.

Reviewing your credit report can shed light on any instances of identity theft that might impact employment screening results. Checking for irregularities such as unauthorized account openings is essential in ensuring accuracy.

By verifying this information, you can gain deeper insights into any identity-related discrepancies.

Do's and Don'ts of  A Self Background Check

  • Gather all necessary personal information before starting the background check.
  • Search court records meticulously to uncover any potential legal issues.
  • Review your credit report and verify its accuracy for a complete financial picture.
  • Scrutinize your online presence, including social media accounts, to ensure they reflect a professional image.
  • Confirm the accuracy of your educational and employment history for thorough verification.
  • Exercise caution when using background check services, ensuring they are reputable and compliant with regulations.

Benefits of a Self Background Check

Running a self-background check can uncover identity theft, helping individuals rectify any errors before they impact job prospects. It also empowers people to review and verify their personal information, ensuring accuracy in potential screenings by employers.

Additionally, this proactive approach enhances preparedness for background checks and provides peace of mind when applying for jobs.

Frequently Asked Questions about Self Background Checks

Can you perform a background check on yourself? How can you fix any errors in your background check?

Can You Do a Background Check on Yourself?

You can perform a background check on yourself  by verifying your information from credit to employment history or using online services. These platforms give you access to your personal records, criminal history, employment verification, educational background, credit reports, and online presence information.

By inputting your details into these tools, you can obtain a comprehensive report detailing various aspects of your background.

The availability of self-background checks empowers individuals to take charge of their personal information and ensure its accuracy. 

This process is especially valuable when preparing for job applications or seeking professional opportunities that require thorough vetting of one's background.

How to Correct Background Check Errors

If you find errors in your background check, contact the company that conducted it. Provide them with accurate information and any supporting documents needed to correct the mistakes.

Follow up on the progress of the correction process by maintaining regular communication with the screening company.

Informing entities such as credit bureaus about inaccuracies can help rectify discrepancies in your credit reports. Utilize available tools like dispute forms or online platforms provided by these organizations for reporting and fixing errors effectively.

How to Search Public Records

To effectively search public records, start by gathering personal information such as full name, date of birth, and previous addresses. Then access state and county courthouses' databases to request and obtain the required public records.

It's important to note that costs for obtaining these records vary depending on the state and municipality. Additionally, utilizing top background check services can expedite this process by providing comprehensive reports including criminal records review and employment history verification.

What Does an Employment Background Check Show?

When considering what an employment background check shows, it typically includes a thorough review of an individual's criminal record, employment history verification, education verification, driving records, and credit history.

This process is often conducted by utilizing various tools such as the Department of Motor Vehicles for checking driving records, county courts for criminal records checks, and credit agencies for reviewing credit history.

In addition to these entities, employers may also use online platforms to gather information about potential employees.

1. What is a pre-employment background check?

A pre-employment background check is when companies look into your history to see if you have a criminal record, your work history, and other personal details before they decide to hire you.

2. Why should I do a background check on myself?

Doing a background check on yourself helps you know what employers might find out about you. This way, you can fix mistakes or be ready to explain things like criminal charges or sensitive data that shows up.

3. How can I check my criminal record?

You can start by checking with local police departments for any criminal records, including misdemeanors or DUIs.

4. Can looking at my social media accounts be part of the background check?

Yes! Employers might look at your Facebook account or Instagram account to learn more about you. Make sure there's nothing there that could hurt your chances of getting the job.

5. Is it possible for someone to steal my identity during these checks?

There's always a risk of ID theft when sharing personal information for checks. Keep an eye on what info you give out and who has access to it.

6. What laws protect me during the employment screening process?

Laws like the Civil Rights Act and the Fair Chance Act are designed to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity for employment without facing discrimination based on their past.

Key takeaway: Before a job search, take control of your online reputation. Check credit reports for errors, use online services to see what potential employers might find, and verify your work and education history for accuracy.


Pre-employment background checks are a norm in today's job market. Don't get caught off guard! Take control by conducting a self-background check. 

This proactive approach allows you to identify and address any potential inconsistencies in your information, like gaps in employment history or errors in credit reports. By rectifying these issues beforehand, you can navigate the hiring process with confidence.

A self-background check involves gathering information like past addresses and workplaces. Utilize court records and credit reports to ensure everything is accurate. 

Review your online presence – adjust social media profiles and search for any mentions of yourself that might affect your professional image. For jobs requiring licenses, confirm their validity.

Taking charge of your background check demonstrates valuable qualities to potential employers: initiative, transparency, and attention to detail. Consider reputable background check services for a more comprehensive report. 

Want to go the extra mile? Services like Jobsolv offer social media clean-up and LinkedIn branding to help you craft a professional and desirable image that will impress recruiters and hiring managers. Invest in yourself and stand out from the competition.

Remember,  your clean records and online presence is your professional handshake!

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