If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to find a new job (or to get one in general), you are certainly not alone. After all, hiring is expected to continue even if it is not at a robust pace. For jobseekers, this means that interviewing and background checks will be especially important. Because of this, knowing how background checks work and how they can affect your future employment is essential.

With that said, this post will identify a few things jobseekers should know. 

Pre-employment background checks – These are inquiries that prospective employers make to learn more about your character and integrity; two things that may not show up on your resume that may make you the perfect employee, or a terrible hire. So having solid references is critical for these checks.

Criminal background checks – In the same vein, employers will also complete criminal background checks to ensure that you do not have any criminal instances that will disqualify you from employment. To that end, you don’t necessarily have to volunteer if you have been convicted of a felony (or misdemeanor), but you cannot lie or mislead potential employers about your criminal past.

Be diplomatic – Employers are not perfect. During the course of an interview or background check, they may ask you questions that are illegal (i.e. questions alluding to age, religious background). While you may  politely note that such questions are improper, it may not be worth making a scene over these types of mistakes. Nevertheless, if you are not hired because you stood up for yourself in this regard, an experienced employment law attorney can advise you on what to do next.