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What Does It Mean to Get Vetted?

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The verb "to vet" means to examine a person, object or scheme carefully to assess suitability for a given role. For example, when you're applying for a job, an employer might vet you to see if you would be good in the role.

Checking References

It is common and expected for an employer to check the work references of an applicant for an available job. The applicant should provide up-to-date references. These would usually be trustworthy people at a company where the applicant has worked previously or school or university contacts. The person in charge of assessing the applicant contacts these references to gain information about the applicant's suitability for the new role. This is one way of vetting the applicant.

Criminal History

Many jobs, especially those that entail a measure of responsibility, require job applicants to provide proof of their trustworthiness. This could take the form of a criminal records check to show the applicant has no previous history of crime or misdemeanors that might affect his performance in the role.

Vetting Subjectively

Once formal assessments have been carried out, an applicant might be vetted more subjectively. This could take place at a formal or informal interview during which the assessor will try to judge the applicant's intangible qualities, such as willingness to work, ability to work with others or passion for the subject at hand.


Carl Mathie began working as a translator, editor and writer in 2004 at two independent literary publishers in London. His work has been published in the "Financial Times" and online at Readysteadybook and Vulpes Libris. He has translated for several important international publishers including Grupo Planeta and Oxygen Books. He has a Bachelor of Arts in comparative American studies from the University of Warwick.

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