6 Reasons You Might Lose a Job Offer Due to a Background Screening


After polishing your resume, crafting the perfect cover letter, and breezing through your interview, you receive a promising a job offer. However, before you buy a new professional wardrobe and anticipate a busy schedule, you’ll have to pass a background check.

While this is generally a simple process, it can be riskier than you think. There are some reasons that an employer could withdraw a job offer because of what they uncover in a background check. The following are just some of these reasons to be aware of.

You misrepresented your background

One of the main reasons an employer will go back on a job offer is because you lied on your application. Misrepresenting your background can show that you are untrustworthy and may be inexcusable. For example, you may have said that you do not have a criminal history, but you actually received a DUI ten years ago. You may have also said that you have a valid driver’s license while there is no record of this. These discrepancies may be enough for an employer to withdraw the offer.

You have a criminal record

While a criminal record does not automatically disqualify you from a job, there are some instances when it can be an issue. One common reason is that your record directly conflicts with the job you were hired to do. For example, if you were hired for an accounting job but were tried for embezzlement, they may not want you working for them. It will also be a problem if you lie. The best approach is to be completely up front with your employer about your history.

You lied about your education credentials

You might think it’s standard to include a white lie on your resume here and there. However, background screenings catch these lies. Education credentials are one of the easiest details to check, so be sure to be honest. If you say that you have a Bachelor’s Degree even though you didn’t actually complete the degree program, your employer will find that there is no record of you graduating.

You have poor credit history

Especially if you will be in a money-handling job, your employer will put emphasis on your credit history. They could withdraw a job offer if they see concerning patterns like bankruptcy. This is another reason why it’s essential to be forthcoming about your history. If you filed for bankruptcy due to an unexpected medical issue, for example, be sure to say so. They may be more likely to overlook that part of your history.

You have questionable content online

You’ve heard that what you post online is there forever, and your content can have consequences in a background check. A simple Google could reveal unprofessional photos from college or inappropriate social media posts. If you have cleaned up your act since these days, do a quick social media audit before you apply to jobs. Reputation-management sites can also alert you to any concerning content that is lingering online.

You received a poor review

Many employers will ask for professional references as part of a job application. Unfortunately, this does not always mean that you will receive positive reviews. If a past employer sends a review after you already received an offer, a concerning comment might be enough for your new employer to pull the offer. This instance is rare, but it’s always important to send references who you think will deliver praise.

Technology gives employers access to a host of personal, professional, and financial information, so it’s important for you to be honest about your history. There are numerous sites that allow your employer to run an efficient background screening, but you can always look yourself up as well. Staying aware of your background check results and communicating with your employer can help you secure a job offer permanently.

When an exciting offer has been presented to you, you want to make sure it remains on the table. Follow the steps mentioned above to ensure your job offer can become a rewarding career.

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