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Often, when an employer is considering hiring an individual for a particular position, he will ask him to provide a list of certain previous employers he has had, as well as his dates of employment. To verify the accuracy of this information, the employer may also choose to double-check it. If the background check cannot confirm the information provided, then this may harm the person's application.
According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, background checks run by employers vary greatly in scope. Many, however, attempt to verify information listed on the applicants' resume. While some merely involve calling previous employers, others include more extensive checks of public records. Depending on the thoroughness of the background check, a failure to verify an individual's dates of employment could cast doubt on the person's record or, if the background check is only cursory, it could be seen as more ambiguous.
Failure To Verify
When information that a background checker looks for cannot be verified, it is not the same as if the information is found to be false. In some cases, an employer may reasonably expect that it will be difficult to verify a person's previous work record. For example, if the person was employed by companies that have since dissolved, or if the companies kept incomplete human resources records, then the new employer would not be surprised at an inability to verify the dates of employment.
How an employer will respond to an inability to verify an applicant's dates of employment will depend on the employer's policies. In some cases, the employer may no longer consider the applicant an acceptable candidate, as there is no proof that he carries the credentials he boasts. However, other employers may take a more charitable view, particularly if the fact that the person performed the jobs he said he did can be verified, but the exact dates cannot.
If a person is concerned that a background checker's failure to corroborate his dates of employment will harm his application, then he may wish to provide additional documentation that can help verify. The person could provide tax forms that listed the company as his employer, as well as pay stubs. In addition, the person might be able to provide specific names of individuals who could testify to his employment.
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Michael Wolfe has been writing and editing since 2005, with a background including both business and creative writing. He has worked as a reporter for a community newspaper in New York City and a federal policy newsletter in Washington, D.C. Wolfe holds a B.A. in art history and is a resident of Brooklyn, N.Y.