Employers Requesting Background ChecksWritten by Scott Brown
This week's job searching tip addresses a question from one of our readers about about background checks. While many employers will hire people without them, some companies require background checks on some or all of their potential hires.
QUESTION FROM A SUBSCRIBER:
Q: If a person receives a job offer, and is told that there is going to be a drug test and background check, what are items relevant in background check? At what point can a prospective employer reject a person?
Dear M.B., When it comes to background checks, general rule is background check needs to be relevant to position you're being hired for. If background check being conducted is checking for information that is not very relevant to how well/competent applicant is likely to be in job, it could be challenged - especially if negative results of such a check would tend to disproportionately affect a protected class of job candidates (e.g. women, minorities, etc.).
Generally, even if you have been convicted of a crime, that fact alone should not disqualify you from a position unless crime you committed would tend to make you a less qualified applicant for job in question. For example, if someone was convicted for child molestation, they would probably not be a good candidate for a child care position, and an employer would in most cases be fine with using that as a reason not to hire person. On other hand, if someone was convicted of failing to taxes, it would be more difficult for an employer to use that as a reason not to hire them for that same type of position.
Volunteering as a tool for Career AdvancementWritten by Scott Brown
Many people will tell you that networking is a good way to find a new job. However, networking often seems like a vague term. In this job searching tip, we will discuss a specific way you can put networking to use to advance in your career. The approach discussed involves volunteering with specific organizations that can help you in business world. Volunteering probably won't produce instant results. But it is a good long-term strategy to maximize your options.
VOLUNTEERING AS A WAY TO INCREASE NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES
Seasoned networkers will tell you it's not quantity of people in your network that matters, it's quality. This is why executives and top producing sales people seek out targeted networking opportunities. They often find them in form of volunteer positions. Aside from giving you an opportunity to give back, volunteering provides an extraordinary forum for networking. Most networking situations only give people a chance to get to know each other superficially. However, when volunteering on a long-term project, people can see each other in action and really get a feel for each others' personalities and talents.
Many executives and top sales people find not-for-profit boards of directors and advisory boards to be especially valuable. These forums are primarily structured as a tool to provide management guidance to non-profit organizations. But in addition to giving people who volunteer for them a sense of having done something worthwhile, they also provide very high quality networking opportunities. If you believe you could provide advice to a non-profit organization that they could benefit from, such as management advice, IT advice or marketing advice, try contacting some local organizations to find out if they could use another person on their board.
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