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In a dismal economy, jobs are scarce, and more difficult to get when employers are concerned about potential employees and their histories. Chances are, in many an interview that seemed to go well, and it looked as though you were going to land a job, the final step was signing paperwork for a background check. What employers are allowed to look into these days is shocking, and if you aren’t aware of what has stuck to your various personal and public records in the last ten years it may cost you.

Before you start looking at some top notch job opportunities, you may want to check all your records that you thought were private but definitely are not off limits to potential employers. Credit checks, criminal record checks, traffic violations, debt ratios, and abuse/ neglect charges against you or even considered as pending or brought against you and negated are all part of the list of personal things an employer can check when you sign off on a background check form. It’s a good idea then, to look into all these things on yourself for yourself before an interview. You might even have to explain some potential issues with the interviewer while you’re in the interview!

To get a completely free credit report from each of the credit reporting bureaus and not have to pay a dime, you can visit and create a login account. Once that is done, you may request your reports once every twelve months, no more or less. Then you can begin to eliminate anything an employer might find unsettling.

Public records in the court system remain public indefinitely, so as long as you have lived in the same county and state most of your life you can look this up. The easiest way is to use the internet to search court documents. These records will include any charges of neglect, abuse, marriage, divorce, etc., and what the end result of those charges was.

You can also search the Department of Transportation’s records for any problematic information too. They too have a link to a page that you can type in your name and birth date and it shows a number of records related to your name, some of which can be removed if they are older than ten years, and others which may not be you at all but mistaken as you.

Once you know what all these records state about you, you are equipped to handle anything that comes up in the hiring process.

Mark Boyd writes about a wide range of topics including music, marketing, background checks, business and travel.  He is a father of 3 and enjoys time with his children, being a geek, making music, traveling and hiking.