What do People see on a Background Check?

Background checks help keep customers, employees, and the workplace safe, which is why they’ve become a critical part of any recruitment plan. Everybody wants to avoid things like violence in the workplace. If you visit background check site UnMask.com, you’ll learn that failing to check applicants properly puts us at risk for falling victim to a crime. We would add that it puts the company at risk too. After all, you’ll be held responsible if you hire someone with a rap sheet and they hurt someone at work. 

What Do People Really See?

Typically, background checks consist of education screening, reference checks, previous employment verifications, and criminal history. Some variation is admissible depending on the recruiter’s preference, the type of job you’re looking for, and the sector or industry. Screenings might include drug test results. 

A screening can combine a search of the National Criminal Records Database (NCRD), a Social Security trace, a state criminal history check, a fingerprint search, and more. We’ll go into the most common components.  

Social Security 

A trace of your Social Security number will show all the places you’ve worked and lived in the past. It’s the starting point for any reliable screening. It will also yield any other names you might go by (aliases). 


A search of this database will reveal whether a job candidate has ever committed a crime in a county or state different from the one they’re currently based in. This is a fast search of hundreds of millions of records. You can also run a statewide check of criminal records to see if someone has committed a misdemeanor or felonies. Information is derived from correctional agencies, courts, and law enforcement officials statewide. 

FBI Fingerprint Check 

A search of the FBI’s Fingerprint Database can reveal information about a criminal record in the event of a match on fingerprints. This search can yield information about naturalization and government employment records as well as military service records apart from criminal records. The law requires quite a few industries to run fingerprint-based checks. While this is not the most effective way to find a criminal record, you might have to give your fingerprints if you work in finance, a nursing home, daycare, or a hospital. 

County Criminal Records Screening 

Employers can pinpoint specific areas where candidates have worked and lived using data obtained through the Social Security number trace. 

Healthcare Sanctions 

Employers might ask for a Healthcare Sanctions Report, which will show if an assistant, nurse, or a doctor has been expelled from Medicare, Medicaid, or another federally funded program on account of a breach.

Sex Offenses and Terrorist Watch 

A search of the national sex offender registry is among the important components of the NCRD. A check of the Terrorist Watch List might be done in case of reasonable suspicion that someone is implicated in terrorist activity. 

MVR Report 

If the job involves driving, the employer will probably run a driving record and a driver’s license verification check. This will provide an overview of your driving history, including any accidents, suspensions, violations, or convictions. 

Foreign Asset Control 

A search of the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) would be quite rare. Employers run these if they are concerned an applicant may threaten national security. 

DOT Employment 

This screening yields a detailed overview of one’s work history. You can’t go farther back than three years when checking a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) under federal law, but no such limitations on employment history exist. 

Professional References and Education 

This is where the employer calls companies the applicant has worked for in the past and asks them about his or her performance. Education verification confirms college degrees, certifications, and any advanced degrees. 

Credit Report 

If you’re applying for a job in finance, they will probably run a credit check on you. This can reveal payment history, any bankruptcies, financial rulings, and current debts. 

In sum, this is everything someone can see on a background check.