how do background checks work?

February 27, 2014

A reader writes: I have a question about background screenings. You’ve advised readers before that it’s okay to omit certain university degrees from their resume (especially if they’ve earned more than one) if it was going to hurt their job search. How does a background screening work? Do hiring managers check each university/degree listed one […]

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my coworker wants me to give him a false reference and lie about his salary

February 26, 2014

A reader writes: There is at least one coworker with whom you hit it off with since day one and you trust and help each other. I have a coworker like this. Last week, this coworker took me out to lunch and told me he was planning to start interviewing, because he found that he […]

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don’t check references? here’s a horror story for you

February 20, 2014

This was originally published on October 20, 2010. This post is for anyone who has ever said or secretly thought that reference-checking is a waste of time. Not long ago, I had a job candidate on the verge of being hired. He had wowed everyone in the interview and clearly had the skills to the do […]

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why should your references be managers rather than peers?

January 7, 2014

In last week’s open thread, a commenter asked, “Why is a manager or supervisor always a better reference than a coworker? I ask because often I’ve had a better idea of the quality of work of my coworkers than I think the manager does.” In some cases, it can be true that your coworkers know […]

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can I push back on an extensive pre-employment check?

October 24, 2013

A reader writes: I’m in the final stages of interviewing for a position that I really want. I credit this in large part to your blog! They are flying me down sometime next week for a day-long marathon. Prior to that, I’ve been asked to complete a pre-employment inquiry release, which basically is a “consumer […]

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do I have to give my ex-girlfriend a job reference?

September 27, 2013

A reader writes: I have been asked for a reference, in my capacity as a manager, by an ex-girlfriend. The relationship ended very badly for me (depression and on-going anti-depressant medication), so I’m quite gobsmacked/angry about this. I was her line manager’s manager at the time of her employment, but unfortunately she was made redundant […]

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should you apologize when an employee you recommended for the job gets fired?

August 12, 2013

A reader writes: I’m asking this question for a coworker of mine. We both work as legal assistants for a large law firm. Last fall, the firm hired an employee whom she’d referred for the same position. This employee was just fired last week (after 9 months with the firm). Apparently, the people she worked […]

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how do job offers that are contingent on a reference from your current manager work?

July 25, 2013

A reader writes: I don’t understand job offers that are contingent on a positive reference from a current employer. Do you give notice to your current employer, thus throwing your current job into jeopardy and hoping you will be given a good reference, since otherwise you may be fired for looking elsewhere for employment? Or […]

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how do employers verify your previous salary?

June 27, 2013

A reader writes: How does a company go about verifying your self-reported salary history for a background check? I have a first round interview with a large, well-known firm, and they sent me forms to consent to their background check. On it, there is a large portion dedicated to salary history. I have already resigned […]

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employer is insisting on contacting my current manager before deciding whether to offer me a job

June 20, 2013

A reader writes: I have recently been told that I am one of two finalists for a new job but the interviewer (the director) wants to contact my current manager directly before making a final decision. I had already supplied four references, which included three managers from my previous jobs. Two of those manager references […]

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