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Reference Checks

Employment Reference Checks

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When you are job searching, expect to having your references checked by prospective employers. 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

Copyright Ed Hidden

 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 your previous employers and the references you have given to a prospective employer may be asked.  Review these reference check question samples so you will know what to expect.

What Employers Can Disclose

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One of the questions I get asked 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.

Reference Lists

Copyright Alison Doyle

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.

Reference Check Form

Copyright Ryan Fox

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.

Reference Check Letter

Copyright Pali Rao

Sample reference check letter used to request a reference in writing.

References

Copyright Ekaterina Monakhova

Here's advice on references for job searching including who to ask for a reference, types of employment references including personal and professional references, how to list references, when to give references to employers, reference checks, and sample reference letters and lists.

Background Checks

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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.

Employment Credit Checks

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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.

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