What Are Verification Checks?

By Michael Klazema on 11/21/2018

Criminal background checks are at the core of most pre-employment background investigations, but they are not the only type of background check employers use. Verification checks are often a part of the equation as well. These types of checks help employers determine whether a job candidate was honest on his or her resume or job application. Since details like education, work history, and professional licenses or certification are typically top considerations in any hiring decision, verifying that these details are accurate for all top candidates is often an essential part of the employee screening process. Educational and professional verification checks serve to provide that kind of fact-checking.

At, we provide four different services that fall into the verification check family: employment verification, education verification, professional license verification, and reference verification. We have outlined the basics of these verification checks below.

  • Employment verificationThe purpose of check is to verify the work history a job candidate listed on a resume or job application. The check involves contacting listed employers and asking them to verify key information such as employment dates, job title, job responsibilities, and reasons for leaving.

  • Education verificationWhat if a candidate embellishes or entirely fabricates his or her educational resume? This type of check is designed to root out those bits of resume padding. By contacting the educational institution(s) listed on a candidate’s resume, can verify dates of attendance, degrees and credentials received, and any honors attached to those degrees.

  • Professional license verificationProfessional licenses or certifications are often legally required for someone to hold a certain type of job. Doctors and nurses, for instance, must be licensed and certified. Employers can’t take the risk of hiring unlicensed candidates, hence the importance of this type of check. A professional license verification check involves contacting the appropriate licensing bodies to check things like date of issuance, date of expiration, issuing state and agency, and any comments or notes linked to the certification.

  • Reference verificationReference checks can be extremely useful for learning about a person’s character, work ethic, dependability, teamwork mentality, and other traits. Many employers ask their job applicants to submit a list of 3-5 references alongside their resumes. A reference verification check involves contacting and speaking with these references to learn more about each applicant.

As an employer, you can never be certain a job candidate is portraying themselves honestly on resumes or during job interviews. It is not unheard of—or even uncommon—for a hiring manager to come across a lie on a resume. Verification checks are a powerful way to defend against lies or half-truths. Using these educational and professional verification checks as part of your pre-employment background screening process will make it easier to find the best person for the job. When you can make decisions based on information that you know is accurate and truthful, you can hire with much more confidence.

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