I accepted an offer contingent on background check. My résumé includes a job I do on the side without any official papers or payment - just part time work for a friend's company. All of that was clear and I wasn't hiding any of this information. My friend is listed as one of my references and I'm just fine if they call. I just dont want them to pull tax records, show I wasn't on their payroll and disqualify me.

Should I call the agency doing the background check to explain this?

  • 2
    If the agencies allowed the people being investigated to clarify anything that wasn't kosher, why would the employer ever trust them to do a proper background check? If the employer knows, then if something comes up with the agency doing the search, they will evaluate the results in the context of what you've told them. What exactly are you worried about if the company already knows and the background check will only confirm what you've told them?
    – jmac
    Oct 11, 2013 at 5:30
  • Is the work for a mall company owned by your friend, or is it work that the company that employees your friend knows nothing about? Oct 11, 2013 at 10:25
  • @jmac I've never done a background check, if you think I'm overthinking this and the consensus agrees please make that an answer and I'll accept.
    – Ryan
    Oct 11, 2013 at 12:47
  • @mhoran_psprep I do not understand what you're trying to ask
    – Ryan
    Oct 11, 2013 at 12:47
  • 1
    I know that at least in the US they won't be able to pull your tax records that information is private. Your credit report, provided you have given them permission to run it, is not private.
    – Donald
    Oct 11, 2013 at 18:17

1 Answer 1


Everything you put on the resume and investigation forms should be verifiable. If they need more contact information they will ask for it before trying to do the investigation. If they find info that doesn't seem to match, they will ask for clarification.

Generally they will give you the opportunity to explain after the investigation, some times they make a mistake in the investigation, or they need help interpreting the info they find.

Example: they contacted the wrong company. I worked for a small company with a similar name, but they called the larger more well known company. Of course they never heard of me. This was easy to fix.

Example: Confusing financial info. A mortgage on an investment property was sold twice before they realized it was an investment property. So the two transactions were reversed, one of which was messed up because my check was already in the mail. The credit report was very confusing, it looked like I had several mortgages I never mentioned. It was easy to explain.

If you embellished your working relationship they could be concerned about what else you embellished. If you accepted payments without paying taxes on the income that could concern some employers.

Bottom line, over explain on the initial forms.

  • Okay then I should be fine. I didn't avoid taxes, I didn't collect any payment. I just do it on the side in exchange for the experience and to help my friend out
    – Ryan
    Oct 11, 2013 at 14:14

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