I don't get why background check is asking for so much useless information (about employment, references, address history etc). Why can't they just check the information themselves if all the records are already in the system.

I've only filled out the information that I thought were relevant to my resume and left out on a lot of information I don't remember much from the past.

So it is okay to provide the background check information only you think it's relevant?


4 Answers 4


So it is okay to provide the background check information only you think it's relevant?

Based on this apparently annoying situation you are experiencing, the obvious answer here would be no, otherwise you will be constantly asked for information again until they are satisfied. The problem is that how do you know what is relevant for them?

That is why it is a good idea to provide as much information as you have (a reasonable amount, though) that is related to the job you are applying for. This way you will have less back and forth when Background Check seeks for your clarification.

Given that you probably can't guess every single thing Background Check requires, it is best to provide as much as you can. That or check any reference (website, manual, etc.) they may have on the requirements for such process, or perhaps some coworker; chances are they may have it documented.

Why can't they just check the information themselves if all the records are already in the system.

Probably because (1) they want something that is not in the system, or (2) they failed to search and find that information.

Anyways, seems that, again, it is best to provide as much information you have on this, so you don't have to guess what they want or waste time on clarifications.


I'd say the real reason you have to give all that information has nothing to do with what's in the system nor with them failing to search for something. Rather, it is on you to disclose everything truthfully and they cross-reference any existing information to check its veracity. In other words, they are gauging your honesty. This is without question what many government jobs do. I suspect private sector firms may vary.


You must give address history. Records of every place you've worked isn't in "the system" where the background check company can find it. It's in your resumes you've maybe posted in multiple places or the one you gave to the prospective new employer. Don't list a job if they went out of business many years ago. It's not worth the headache it will take for you and the background company to try and find a contact. This becomes more of an issue when you've been in an industry 'forever' and you learn why it's a bad idea listing everywhere you've ever worked!


If they are asking you for the information, then you can provide or omit whatever you want to provide or omit. However, "background checks" tend not to be the employer asking the prospect for information, usually an actual background check goes through a third party who researches you; what they are asking for is more likely a cross-reference for information they have already found through their background check. Which means, if you omit something, the higher likelihood is they already know about it or they will find out about it anyway through their other source, so you may as well be straightforward. Additionally, omission of information here may be taken as an honesty check as @A.fm. said, so if you don't provide the "right" information then they may see you as less honest.

If you feel like they are asking for too much information, put in as much information as you feel comfortable and then say "this is my information for the last X years, if you need more than this let me know". They will almost certainly not follow up.

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