Background Checks & References

When going through the sales recruitment process, details matter. Employers never like surprises. The best way to address any indiscretions, goof-ups, or mistakes is to deal with them on the front end of the sales recruitment process.

Don’t Cause an Employer to Pause Recruitment Efforts

1. Provide Accurate Compensation Totals: Sometimes, it will be necessary to provide W2 verification. Review your past compensation so when it’s discussed you are providing accurate information.

2. Prepare References in Advance: Today, more than ever, it is easy to line up dates and cross check employment history. Stick to listing people who enjoyed managing and working with you. Let your references know you are in job search mode, and prepare them adequately prior to giving out their information. Let them know who will be calling, and the type of role you are interviewing for so they can highlight your areas of expertise and speak knowledgeably about your relevant successes.

3. Current References Are a Must, Include a Former Supervisor: Make sure to include professional references as opposed to personal references; with at least one former supervisor and two colleagues. Traditionally, the more recently you have worked with a person, the more valuable the reference will be to the inquiring employer. If you provide outdated references, red flags start flying!

4. Fill out the Entire Application: Yes, applications are annoying! However, when filling out an application remember to answer all the questions. Don’t leave out information that might seem irrelevant, i.e. past addresses. If you don’t have all the information you need at the time it’s requested, simply ask for more time so you can fill out the information with accuracy.

5. Don’t Sweat Credit Checks: If you were an accountant, your credit history would matter. Sales professionals rarely have to worry about credit report "judgement."

6. Explain Gaps in Employment: You will need to be prepared to explain any and all gaps in employment. It’s best to be clear, concise, and get right to the point on these explanations.

7. The Dreaded DMV Record Search: If your new job comes with a company car, expect your DMV record to be highly scrutinized. If a company car is not provided, one DUI will fly about 60% of the time; two or more DUIs will typically pause the recruitment process. If this is an issue for you, it’s best to be direct and up front about the facts early in the recruitment process.

8.Pulling Back the Background Check:  Records are pulled from the county, state, federal and DMV depending on the level of check conducted. If there are any known issues here, address them early in the process, and preferably prior to receiving the background check paperwork.

Demonstrating Your Trustworthiness with Transparency

Background checks and references happen right before an offer is made. Throughout the interview process, you should begin to select appropriate references and start to prepare them for the possibility of being called by potential employers.

If you have issues that need to be addressed, it’s best to reveal them before you sign off on a background check.

In the information age, it’s easy to double check facts, so present yours at the right time. And the right time is always early in the process.