Background checks have pretty much become standard procedures of most hiring processes in the United States. Even when hiring people for entry level positions companies routinely check criminal, credit, driving, and education records of applying candidates.

As a person applying for a job, you have every right to refuse giving consent for a background check. However, that would most likely cost you that job opportunity. Companies are well within their rights to refuse employment if someone refuses to have their background checked.

Therefore, if you are serious about bagging your dream job there is no real option but to understand how background checks work. Following 5 things you need to know.

Companies Need Your Permission: No one can check your background without taking your prior consent. Consent has to be documented, which means a verbal consent doesn’t hold much ground. Most ethical firms would explain the background check process and ask you to sign a consent form for a criminal background check.

Candidates with Criminal History Can Get Jobs: Just because you were arrested or convicted for a crime, it doesn’t mean employers have the right to reject your application. In some states, firms are required to explain how a candidate’s past criminal history is going to hinder them from performing a particular job role. A lot of companies overlook small offenses or at least give you an opportunity to explain.

All Background Checks Are Not Equal: The details of a background check report depend on two things, the background check company, and the search parameters. Good background check companies like Veromi searches several criminal databases and sex offender registries to generate a comprehensive report. Background search companies that do not search critical databases such as centralized FBI criminal database may end up clearing people with serious criminal offenses. The report also depends on what individual companies are looking to find. Most companies don’t bother looking up credit report and medical history. However, checking for criminal records is performed by almost all companies.

Most Background Checks Happen After the Selection Process: There are two reasons why companies only check the backgrounds of people they intend to hire. The first and the most obvious one is cost. Generating each background check report costs money. This is why companies do that after the candidates pass all the interviews and written tests. That way they only spend money on people they are really interested in hiring. Barring this, it’s also considered unethical to perform background checks before the interviews.

You Can Do a Background Check on Yourself: To make sure you have a clean record you can perform a background check on yourself. It’s as easy as going online and using a service like Veromi. After entering a few essential information such as your name, city of residence, and state, you are given a full report which contains your criminal history, qualification records, health records, credit report, and others. If you spot an error in the report, you can contact the background check company and have it fixed.