How to Run a Background Check on Yourself

You’d probably check your credit score before shopping for a house or car, so why not apply the same strategy to your job search? Since 90 percent of U.S. companies run a criminal background check on applicants, making sure your record is clean and accurate will give you peace of mind, or prepare you for questions you may be asked.

FingerprintsYou can hire an agency like Been Verified, some of which provide a free app or initial search. Or, you can conduct your own investigation by requesting a report from the various parties involved. It may take some time and effort, but you’ll ensure the accuracy of the information by contacting the original reporting sources. Plus, you can counter any inaccurate reports or employer concerns by producing a bona fide report.

Background Check Components

To get you started, here are the aspects to think about:


You’re entitled to a free report each year from the three major reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. For more, see Credit Report Assistance.

Motor Vehicle

Contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles. For example, in California you can get a copy of your DMV record for $5 at the local office or by mailing a check and a request form. For information from your state, see


Request a copy of your criminal record from the Department of Justice or by contacting the courthouse in areas where you have resided over the last 10 years. You may need to submit fingerprints to get your report. Fingerprinting services are available at most local police departments or sheriff’s offices, or any private facility that provides Live Scan services. Also, remember to search area sex offender registries and prison databases since background agencies often check those records.


Request a certified copy of your transcripts or technical certifications by contacting your college or training center.

Employment Verification

Touch base with old bosses and the HR departments at previous employers to make sure their employment dates and salaries are accurate and match your resume and online profile.

Social Media

Google yourself and remove offensive pictures and comments from your personal pages and profiles. If you don’t have time to research and scrub, hire a third party like Persona or to do it for you.

The bottom line: Don’t wait until an offer is on the table. See what employers see by running a background investigation on yourself before you apply for a job.

2 Responses to “How to Run a Background Check on Yourself”

  1. Adam Jones

    Self-background check surely can develop the confidence of a job seeker. Sometimes reports come wrongly even if you are free from all the cases or totally not involved in any criminal activities. So conducting background check will help you to give you information whether your name is still coming on the report after it has been erased, so that you can take necessary action on it and be prepared for any background check done by the employers. However, there are many candidates who have lots of misconception in their mind regarding background check and get intimidated about. Here’s a nice blog post I have came across regarding the background check misconceptions. Hope you may like it and get some useful information.