By the time reach adulthood, the term background check will no longer be a novelty. And while you may think it's easy to tidy up your online and social media activity, it's often not so straightforward. Someone can still dig up dirt on you if they look hard enough, causing you to miss out on a great opportunity, college admission, job opening, or cause a public relations blunder. An in-depth screening can yield information about any past criminal history, educational records, professional certificates and more. In some cases too, some of the information might be contextually incorrect.
That's why you need to beat them to it, to know first what a future employer or a college screening board will see on your background report so that you can avoid surprises and stay one step ahead.
So, How Do You Get Ahead And Take Charge Of Your Story?
First of all, the easiest step you can take it to clean up your social media timelines. This might sound simple, but if you're very active across social media channels, you have your work cut out for you. Delete any unsavory comments or interactions that might prove problematic and consider taking down any public pictures which don’t show you in a positive professional light.
But deleting tweets, comments and, pictures alone isn't enough to change what appears when an employer looks you up. To reclaim your narrative and tell your own story, you'll need to know what other information is out there, and for that, you should consider running a personal background check on yourself.
This convenient service can be done online and completed in just a few minutes. To begin, simply choose a reputable background check service, enter your own name, city, and state. The website may ask for additional information such as age and relatives, especially if you have a common name.
Once the system has identified you and has pulled your background check, you will likely be required to purchase a plan in order to view the full report. While this may deter some, it is a small price to pay for being prepared, and will save you hours and hours of research if you tried gathering the information yourself.
Finally, in whatever you do, keep in mind the old saying that knowledge is power. This is 2018 and organizations are doing more than just Googling your name wherever and whenever you apply. If you are well prepared, nothing can surprise you. Do well to clear your name and make sure you never miss out on a great opportunity.