What Does A Background Check Show?

What shows up on a background check depends on the type of background check ordered and the database being searched.


A typical employment background usually shows identity verification, education confirmation, credit history, criminal records, and driving records.

Employers gather a wealth of information to evaluate candidates before hiring to avoid a wrong hire.

In fact, according to Screen & Reveal, hiring the wrong person can cost a company up to 24 times its annual salary. As such background checks are really important.

And in this article, we’ll be looking at different types of background checks and see what they may show to help you prepare for your next job screening process. 

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What Exactly Does a Background Check Reveals?  

What Exactly Does a Background Check Reveals

The background check aims to investigate the authenticity of the information provided on a candidate’s resume to eliminate the risk of hiring an inappropriate employee.

The recruiters inquire about certain factors about a candidate, such as his background, education, employment history, credit history, and criminal record checks, among others, to ensure they are hiring a candidate who fits with the company’s core values and policies.

Identity Verification

Identity checks reveal your true identity and that you are whom you claim to be.

Some employers might ask for driving license details or passport, while others may do a detailed investigation through your Social Security number tracing to ensure your identification card or driving license aligns with your current residence.

Academic Verification 

This kind of check involves matching the educational qualifications and experience of a candidate with data from the mentioned educational institutions.

The employer may contact your teachers and professors and verify your academic transcripts to ensure you are being honest about your credentials.

Employment Verification 

An employment verification check reveals that you are being honest about where you have worked.

So employers usually contact your previous employers to verify whether the work history and experience mentioned on your resume align with what your previous employer has on record.

Professional Certification Verification

If a company needs a highly skilled professional for a job, they will ascertain that the candidate is being honest about their credentials.

Professional certification verification usually involves professional record checks and license or certification authorization checks. 

Credit History Checks 

A credit check is conducted by companies looking for someone who is trustworthy and can handle the money well.

The credit report reveals an overview of the candidates’ credit history, including the true identity of the candidates, how many accounts they have with lenders, and whether they have any bankruptcy on their record to prevent embezzlement or fraud.

Driving Record Checks

Driving record checks are essential when companies need to hire truck drivers, school or city bus drivers, or heavy machinery operators.

So this type of check reveals driving tickets you have received or accident you were involved in and give employers a better idea about how much a candidate follows the driving laws.

Criminal Record Checks

Criminal checks aim to discover past criminal convictions at the federal or state level, such as felony, misdemeanor convictions, forgery, pending charges, dismissed charges, and acquitted charges.

It involves basic searches such as National Criminal Database Search, Social Security Number Trace, and a sex offender registry search.

Global Watchlist Checks 

Employers use this background check before hiring workers in any level of government positions.

It uses a database of lists across the globe that companies use to run regular identity checks of employees against money launderers, suspected terrorists, frauds, or PEPs.


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What Does an Employment Background Check Show?

What Does an Employment Background Check Show

Here’s a detailed list of all the information that you can generally find in an employment background check:

  1. Education history: Your employment background check can reveal the history of your education right from your primary class to your master’s or Ph.D. degree. The information can include the name of the college or university, the year you completed your course, etc. This information helps the employers to cross-check the details shared by you on your resume to that from the report.
  2. Job History: This report also reveals the details about all the companies you have worked for, what was your job role, for how long you stayed in the company, whether you were promoted or fired, etc. Maintaining a positive work history is thus important.
  3. Driving records & licenses: Certain job profiles, such as being a medical professional, lawyer, etc., requires a license for you to practice. Similarly, other professions, such as delivery jobs, jobs that require you to travel require driving licenses. Before hiring for such positions, the employer would access your license record to see if it is valid. And they also check your driving record to ensure that you are fit for the job.
  4. References: Employment background check reports can also reveal references using which the employer can get a good idea about your behavior, work ethics, etc.


How Can You Pass an Employment Background Check?

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What Can a Rental Background Check Show?

Here are the most common details that your landlord can find in your rental background check:

  • Eviction history: A landlord would want to know if you have ever been evicted, and a rental background check can help them in finding that information. If an eviction history shows up in your report, then chances are that your application will be rejected. So make sure that you maintain a good rental background.
  • Credit history: Before lending their property to you, the landlord would like to know how good you are with your finances, do you owe any debts, if yes, then do you make your monthly payments or time or not, what your credit history looks like, etc. Your credit report helps them in analyzing what your credit pattern is like. And having a poor record can lead them to reject your application.
  • Past Addresses: Your rental background check can also reveal your past addresses, where you have lived before, etc.
  • Collections: Landlords can also access if your debt has ever been in collections. If yes, then it is bad news for them, and they will for sure reject your application for fear of the same thing happening to them.
  • Criminal record: No one wants to give abode to a criminal in their house. So landlords can very easily check if you had any criminal charges filed against you or whether you engaged in any type of criminal activity.


What Can a Fingerprint Background Check Show?

People have a misconception that fingerprint background checks can show more accurate reports.

However, this method simply matches the fingerprint of a person to a criminal record and also, and it has limitations.

First of all, storing fingerprints is not a universal practice and is followed in only some countries and states. And also, not all crime gets recorded, so it is not as great as it may sound.

Testing a candidate for a fingerprint background is only as good as finding information about them using their SSN or name, etc.


So a background check can help you in getting a lot of information as discussed above. We hope that you found this article useful.

People Also Ask For:

How long does a background check take?

A standard background takes 24-72 hours to show up.

However, certain external factors, such as court house timings, hiring surges, drug test laboratory issues, etc., can lead to an increase in time in advance search reports.

What can make someone fail a background checK?

The following things might make someone fail a background check:

  • Criminal records
  • Poor driving record
  • Poor credit history
  • Bad reference
  • Failing drug test
  • Poor employment history
  • Lying on the resume
  • Suspicious social media activity, etc.


Can my background check reveal why I was fired?

An employment background check may reveal that you were fired but might not reveal the reason for it.

However, an employment background check report also reveals references, and the person hiring you can easily get in touch with them and find out the reason for the same.

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