You might think that ‘normal people’ don’t get investigated. If you have nothing to hide, why would anyone want to spy on you? But as someone who makes a living from finding out the abnormal things that normal people do, I am here to tell you that your life is an open book to more than one interested party! Something as mundane as applying for a new job can leave you exposed. And with all kinds of resources at their fingertips, you may want to think carefully about what you want your new potential employer to see before that big interview! Here are a few things to watch out for.
Firstly, try Googling your name. Most of us will probably admit to doing this already, just for curiosity’s sake. Nine times out of ten you will just find a few old status updates from MySpace, or that someone in Timbuctoo has the same name as you. If this is the case, consider yourself very lucky. Digital archives can dredge up all sorts of dirty laundry, even something happened many years ago that you may have forgotten all about. It is always worth double checking whether your teenage misdemeanours (or worse) are still out there haunting you. This is particularly true for ‘millennials’ who grew up with Facebook, Instagram and other forms of social media as the norm.
Speaking of social media, our second piece of advice is checking your privacy settings are all up to date and secure. Platforms like Facebook are notorious for changing these settings regularly, so you need to make is a priority to read the fine print and make sure you are only sharing the information you want with the people you want. If your dream job is working with children or members of the public, this is even more important and will probably form part of your contract should you get the position.
Some high security jobs will require more in-depth background checks. Again, working with children or vulnerable adults is a prime example of this – you will need to pass a standard DBS check for any job in this area. Also known as a CRB check, this highlights any previous criminal records you may have. If you are concerned, you can apply for a DBS check yourself before you apply for any jobs; that way you know exactly what the results will show. This can be done online, but does incur a small fee which your new employer does not need to pay for on your behalf (even if they require the DBS check from you!).
Jobs in specialist fields, such working in government or national security, will likely perform an even more extensive screening process on any potential employee. This can include anything from social media checks (again), right to work checks, credit checks, drug tests and even interviewing your loved ones or associates. They will normally inform you of this early on, but it is important to think about what may or may not come up in a more detailed background check. You may not be intentionally hiding anything, but you may be surprised what they dig up.
Before you apply for any job, it is important to look into what kind of information your new employer may require from you or what they can find out about you through other means; that way you can be prepared to answer any questions they may have. Good luck!
If you want more on this subject contact Alison, one of our Fab Foxy Friends! https://missaminvestigations.co.uk/