I’ve been job-hunting, and had a great interview recently. I gave my potential employers some professional and personal references, and they told me that they would be doing a background check on me. Of course I don't have a criminal background , but I am hoping that my crazy variety of addresses over the past seven years isn't going to affect my candidacy. I am so worried that they are going to say that I am unstable or something because of the number of times I have moved. I’ve been in the same area since 2001, am married and enrolled in grad school, so hopefully they’ll see that I am a responsible, productive member of society. How extensively do potential employers check references and backgrounds?

- Worried in Williamsburg

2004_06_ask_magnifyingglass.jpgUnless you’re applying for a job at the CIA or a major multinational bank that’s handling huge amounts of money and critical personal information, you probably don’t have much to worry about. Gothamist asked around and talked to some people who have been in the hiring seat before, and this is what they said:
“I don’t think multiple addresses would raise any red flags. I moved around a lot when I was young, too.”
“I might ask the candidate about it, but if there was a reasonable explanation I wouldn’t give it another thought.”
Reasonable explanations might include moving for school, work, family emergencies, or significant others (either acquiring new ones or breaking up with old ones). Just don’t overdo it when explaining your multiple addresses if asked. A simple statement such as, “I moved for personal reasons and felt I had more opportunities in New York” is fine; no need to say “My bastard ex ran off with my best friend and I couldn’t stand being in the same zip code as the moron.”
A basic background check probably consists of seeing if you have a criminal record; a motor vehicles report; social security number verification; and authentication of previous employment. Some places do run credit checks or may even ask you to take a drug test, depending on the nature of the position, but would need to get your permission first. For more job-hunting tips, check out Careerjournal.com or Jobhuntersbible.com. We hope you soon hear the magic words - “You’re Hired.”