About 10 to 20 years ago, not all companies are requiring background checks on their applicants, whether it be a social media screening or not. Today, when you come in for an interview with a company, you’ll be asked to sign a consent that they will do a background check on you.

While some people view this as a problem and are scared that the results might make them lose the chance to get the job, there are also a number of myths that are often misinterpreted. Knowing that these are just myths may help you understand what you are signing.

Background checks can be controlled with great references

Some applicants think that if they include great references in the resumes, then they can already get the job especially if those references put on a word for them when the company calls them.

The truth is, it won’t carry that much weight if the background checking company finds something that is not appropriate for the workplace and company you are applying for. If a social media background check shows that you have a tendency to become racist or violent, then a good reference will not do you any good.

Background checks are only looking for criminal records

Criminal records are important during a background check. But social media investigations are also important. Like what was mentioned above, if your social searchshows that you are a racist, or you can promote violence in a workplace, then you might not be hired.

The truth is, even if you don’t have a criminal record, if you have the tendency to be violence or to be a harasser, then you can very much be a threat to anybody you might be working with.

Background checks cannot check me out on social media

Surely, you’ll think that there will be a line dividing the professional you and the version of you that can party and get drunk during non-office hours. Yes of course, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t check your social media footprint.

The truth is, you will not lose the potential job if you post a photo of you partying and getting drunk for one night. But when you post violent posts, racist posts, and even posts that show that you get drunk every night, then that is the time that you might lose the potential job.

Background checks are not done by all companies

As stated in the intro, this could have been true if it was 10-20 years ago. Today, with the access to companies that offer social media background checks and other background checks, all companies are now having their applicants checked before hiring.

The truth is, all companies are required by law to obtain a signed consent from the applicant that they are allowing the company to do a background check on them. The inclusions will also be shown there, so you are sure that they will not do anything illegal about your information.

Background checks are just guesswork and judgement

Some people seem to think that they can be judged or discriminated when a social media investigation company includes a fact that is discriminating or totally not true in their social media report.

The truth is, there will be no judgement that will happen. Everything that will be reported to the company who hired a background check company to check on you will not report something that is not proven by facts that they can provide. Failure in this criteria can lead to lawsuits.

Background checks can bully and discriminate applicants

There is a common misconception that when you agree to be subject to a background check, then you are putting yourself in a position that will make you prone to bullying and discrimination by your employer or future officemate.

The truth is, reports for background checks like in the social media background check will not give their clients details about what they find out about you. If they find out about one applicant being discreetly gay, they won’t disclose it to the company, the only information the company will get is whether the applicant is not a risk to the company, and whether passed the check or not.

Background check companies give out the same information

There are a lot of background check companies that companies can hire. They usually have packages and a list of inclusions per category of search that a client wants done.

The truth is, even is two packages have the same inclusions, if they are from different companies, then different people will do the checking. That will usually mean that they’ll give different information. So if you are a client, it pays when you ask questions first to avoid misunderstanding.

These 7 myths are just some of the factors that are widely being misinterpreted by people regarding social media background checks.

For the applicant, because of these myths, they usually back out when they are asked to sign a consent that they are allowing the company to do an investigation on them.

For companies, on the other hand, these myths also affect their decision to hire a background check company. Especially the part where they can be sued if an applicant they decided not to hire found out that they did not get hired because of something that shouldn’t even be available information.

So, when in doubt, hire experts.

Author's Bio: 

Nizza Gueco is one of the writers for Digital Uno. She is a versatile writer who also researches and prepares blog and articles for Social Intelligence