I just got an offer for an internship, contingent with a satisfactory background check. The story is I worked as a temp for a company in beginning 2019 and decided to attend grad school in Jan 2020. So I quitted that job in Dec 2019. I mistakenly inputted 2 months earlier from my official hiring date, because I’ve been part of their training for 2 months. I officially started in March 2019, but I was in the training program in Jan 2019 (The training program was to get me ready for the project I would be working on in March). I'm worried that this will raise a red flag to the potential company. What should I do it this situation? Should I only explain if HR ask me about this after the background check is complete? Please advise! I really appreciate it!
In my experience, if there is a discrepancy, the company will reach out directly to discuss. I've had that happen a couple of times - once when the omission was mine and once when they tried to contact a university I had never attended (or said I attended).
No harm in getting ahead of the situation and letting HR know, but I doubt if this will be turn out to be a problem.
I wouldn't worry about the issue.
If you were engaged in training with a company for two months - assuming the training is either full-time or at least a substantial time commitment - then I think it's perfectly reasonable to declare the start of that training as the start of your time with the company.
If your new employer asks for clarification about the circumstances then provide it, but I see no reason why it would raise a "red flag".
The general purpose of a background check is to verify your past and your good conduct in other organisations, not to quibble about technical distinctions between whether a brief period of training with an employer counts either as part of the main engagement or as two separate headings.
The only exception would be if there were explicit instructions about how to account for such a situation, and you have recorded the matter contrary to the instructions, presumably in error. In such a case, it would be best to contact the company and adjust the information pre-emptively. But I think it unlikely that such detailed guidance would exist, given the variety of possible circumstances that can exist, and the lack of overall importance of the distinctions between each case.
The best thing I think is to get your dates synced up with HR as that stuff is in their records and it is what they tell people doing reference checks. If you find a discrepancy with them, but the duration of employment is the same you have nothing to worry about, correct the mistake and send your potential employer an updated resume letting them know you had to correct mistakes in dates. It's when you have a discrepancy in duration, say 6 months instead of 2 that's when you have a problem as 6 months of experience and training is way more than 2. It sounds like your situation will be ok as you are worried about training counting as employment, training and employment are the same, even if it is unpaid