Background checks. Oh, they matter.

Did you know that a potential employer could ask your neighbors about you? Under a background check, an interview of neighbors and friends is considered an ‘investigative consumer report’ and is perfectly legal. While they must inform you of their doing so, it is perfectly alright for them to ask about your character, style of living and other such questions.  

While most employers don’t check out their candidates this extensively, they certainly have the right to do so. If this worries you, you may want to check out why they’re doing such an extensive background check on you and what it’s all about.  

In the narrowing job market, employers are taking hiring more seriously. Fewer jobs means more applications for each opening they do have and presumably, they want the best of the best. This means that, while it’s more effort, background checks will possibly become more routine.  

Also, don’t forget the Google factor. The easiest way to quickly assess someone for a position is to Google them. Do you know what’s out there under your name? Remember, you are what Google says you are.  

One more thing. MySpace and Facebook are really great networking tools. But they’re also really great for potentially ruining your job search. It’s nice to go out and party every once in a while, but remember to have your friends NOT put up those pictures when you’re looking for a job. Even if you’re not, you don’t want your reputation made for you.

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