Employment Reference Checks

 When you are job searching, expect to have your references checked by prospective employers.Before you're offered a job, many organizations will take the time to verify your work history and the details you have provided on your resume. Employers may check with prior employers and the references you give them and ask questions on the phone or via email to ensure you're a good fit for the job.

Here's what you need to know about reference checks, including the reference check questions your previous employers will be asked, what employers can disclose, and information on more detailed background and credit checks for employment.

Reference Check Questions Employers Ask

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 Do keep in mind that not all companies provide references. Some may only confirm that you worked there and your dates of employment.   However, it's important to be prepared for what the companies you have worked for and the references you have given to a prospective employer may be asked.  Review these typical reference check question so you will know what to expect. You may also want to let your references know what they may be asked. More

What Employers Can Disclose About You

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One of the questions job seekers ask frequently is "What can an employer say about former employees?" Some job seekers presume that companies can only legally release dates of employment, salary, and your job title. However, that's not the case. Even though some employers don't provide information about how an employee performed on the job, others do. If you're left a company on not-so-good terms, you may want to check company policy to find out what they will disclose. More

Reference Check Forms

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Employers typically use a reference check form when they check a job applicant's references. By using a form and standard questions, they will be collecting the same information for every candidate whose references they check.  Here's a sample reference check form, complete with the questions that may be asked about your previous employment. More

Reference Check Letters

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Some employers prefer to have written references for their files. Review a sample reference check letter used to request a reference in writing. More

Creating a List of References

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Be prepared to provide a list of your references to prospective employers.  Here's a sample list of references to provide to employers upon request for a reference list. Don't include the reference list when you send your resume or list references on your resume. Rather, have your references on a separate page that you can give to employers when they ask for them.

Do be sure to ask your references for permission to give out their contact information when you ask them if they are willing to provide a reference for you. More

Background Checks for Employment

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When employers check your background as part of the hiring process, there is some information that cannot be disclosed without your consent. Here's information on what is included in an employer background check, as well as the information that is legally protected and cannot be disclosed to employers. More

Employment Credit Checks

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There are some states where it's not legal to require a credit check as a condition of employment. In others, there are limits to what can be disclosed. Credit checks are legal in some locations. However, an employer cannot check your credit without written notification and your permission in writing.

What can employers discover? A job applicant credit report will show details about you and your finances, including your name, address, previous addresses, and social security number. It also shows the debt you have incurred including credit card debt, mortgage, car payment, student loans, and other loans and your payment history, including late payments and defaulted loans. More

More About Job References

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Here's more information on references for job searching including who to ask for a reference, the different types of employment references you can use including personal, character, and professional references, how to list references, when and how to give references to employers, what to do about bad references, reference check policies and procedures, and sample reference letters and lists. More