During this time, a lot of people may find themselves out of a job. If you haven’t applied to a job in a while, you may feel an overwhelming sense of tension and unease. More and more companies are requiring background checks during their hiring processes, and that tends to bring up the question—how do you fail a background check? If that question has been on your mind, take a look below at a few of the common reasons why someone might fail a background check.

Convicted of a crime relevant to the job’s responsibilities

One of the main ways people fail background checks is if they were convicted of a crime. Before you panic, understand that you’ll typically only fail the background check if the crime was relevant to the job’s responsibilities. Employers have a legal obligation to keep their workplaces safe, but they can’t discriminate based on an applicant’s criminal record. They can only deny the application if the offense is relevant to core job responsibilities. For example, if someone was convicted as a sex offender, then they cannot become a teacher or hold any job that deals with vulnerable populations such as children. Having an OWI on your record, however, is not typically something that will result in a failed background check. If you’re worried about having any sort of criminal record while you’re applying for jobs, follow some of these important strategies for job searching with a criminal record.

Poor credit history

Not all background checks include a credit check, but when they do, some employers may consider a poor credit rating as a mark against you. They may consider a low credit score to show traits that contrast with the job requirements. For example, if you’re applying for any sort of financial position with a poor credit score, the company might not hire you. However, most employers understand a lot of different factors are involved in a person’s credit history, and you likely won’t be denied the job if you fail this portion of the background check.

You embellished your experience and credentials

Lying on an application or in an interview won’t end well. Sure, most people don’t remember the exact start and end dates of a volunteer experience or tweak their résumés to include keywords that aren’t entirely accurate. That’s common—but there’s a big difference between not remembering an exact start date and saying you worked for a company you didn’t work for. Saying you graduated with a master’s degree when you didn’t is something that will also pop up. Mismatched credentials look bad and can lead to accusations of fraud. Don’t go there. It’s better to be honest.

Denise Lockwood

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.