You could lose your job if you don't know why. Even worse, you might be misinformed or incorrectly stating information that could damage your reputation. Before you apply for a job that requires background checks, here are some things you should consider.

Background checks for employment are becoming more common than ever. Employers are more likely to check the facts because of our difficult economy and the transparency of the internet.

1.) You can Google yourself. Even if your employer doesn't conduct background checks, this is a great idea. It is easy to perform a Google search. This has led to more employers using Google to check for potential candidates before they speak with them. 

2.) Check your court records. If you have a criminal or court case history, this is a must. Sometimes, courts won't allow felonies to be updated if they have been reduced down to misdemeanors. Double-check everything to ensure that everything is correct and up-to-date.

3.) Ask your former employers for your personnel file. Employers may be required by state law to let former employees access their personnel files. Another opportunity to search for misleading information is this.

4.) Your credit score. Employers want to know how you spend money and if you have trouble managing your debt.

5.) Talk to former colleagues. This will make background checks much easier and quicker. This is also a great opportunity to find out who will give you bad or good references. It will be a positive reflection on you if you take the time.