Customize Consent Preferences

We use cookies to help you navigate efficiently and perform certain functions. You will find detailed information about all cookies under each consent category below.

The cookies that are categorized as "Necessary" are stored on your browser as they are essential for enabling the basic functionalities of the site.

We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze how you use this website, store your preferences, and provide the content and advertisements that are relevant to you. These cookies will only be stored in your browser with your prior consent.

You can choose to enable or disable some or all of these cookies but disabling some of them may affect your browsing experience.

Currently Active

Necessary cookies are required to enable the basic features of this site, such as providing secure log-in or adjusting your consent preferences. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable data.

Analytical cookies are used to understand how visitors interact with the website. These cookies help provide information on metrics such as the number of visitors, bounce rate, traffic source, etc.

Advertisement cookies are used to provide visitors with customized advertisements based on the pages you visited previously and to analyze the effectiveness of the ad campaigns.

Can I Clean Up My Background Before an Employer Checks?

Apply for a DBS Check

More employers than ever are taking steps to check up on the background of the people who they are employing, and background screening is becoming a standard part of the recruitment process. In a competitive job market any negative aspects on your background screening can automatically put your application into the “reject” pile. It’s only natural that applicants want to take steps to try to clean up their background check before the employer runs the screening. But what aspects of your background are employers actually looking for, and how do you present yourself in the best light?


DBS Checks

Although there is a lot you can do in order to clean up your screening check, the one thing which can’t be influenced is your disclosure and barring check, or DBS. When applying for a DBS check, searches are made on the police database. Individual applicants can’t change the information held by the police, but not every position requires a DBS check. People who know that they have recent criminal convictions might therefore be best advised just to avoid applying for jobs which require a DBS check until the convictions become spent.


Credit Checking

Many positions in financial services ask applicants to have their credit record checked. Employers are looking for any “red flags” in their credit file, such as high levels of unmanageable debt which might tempt staff into fraud. The good news is that anyone can access this information and online credit referencing agencies let you check your own file. It’s worth checking the file to make sure there are no obvious errors on it, as credit referencing agencies have a duty to put things right if you do find mistakes. Again, if you do know that you have problems with your credit record such as county court judgements (CCJs), or high levels of debt which could cause issues with an employer, then the best tactic is just to apply for positions which do not require a credit check until the situation is resolved.


Online Presence

One of the quickest and cheapest things for an employer to check is your online footprint. Start by googling your own name and seeing what comes up. You might not be able to do anything about negative information, but at least you will be aware of what employers are seeing when they run the checks. Look at your social media pages too, especially profiles which are open on sites like Facebook or Twitter. Delete any posts you wouldn’t be happy for an employer to see and look as well at any other accounts which you are following or interacting with content. Employers don’t want to see anything controversial or extreme on a prospective employee’s social media accounts. It’s also probably best to delete those posts moaning about your previous employer, or at least restrict who can look at them. Being proactive and taking steps to present the best image possible to a prospective employer should maximise your chances of success in the jobs market.