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Getting Hired Legal Dos & Don'ts

What does the law have to do with getting a job? Plenty. Your future employer is subject to legal restrictions that affect what the company's employment advertisement may contain, what the employer is allowed to ask you in the interview, and what kind of pre-employment testing it can give. Some laws also affect how you conduct yourself in the job-hunting process. The following list provides a few simple Dos and Don'ts to help you get your foot in the door.

The Dos

Do confirm that you have good personal and professional references who will be available to talk to your new employer and give you a glowing recommendation.

Do give your consent to a background check. Employers have the right to make sure the people they hire do not have a history of felony convictions.

Do provide the employer with proof of your U.S. citizenship and residency, or right to work information (your green card).

Do give your consent to taking a pre-employment routine drug screening.

Do ask about safety programs and whether you will be provided personal safety equipment. The employer is required to comply with workplace health and safety laws, and in some jobs, that means protective equipment.

Do get the job offer in writing, and make sure it includes all the provisions you spoke about with the employer-salary, benefits, job description, start date, and grounds for termination.

The Don'ts

Don't assume that the dress code for your interview (or subsequent job) is similar to your favorite clothes. Companies are allowed to impose a reasonable dress code, and you will give a good impression if you are dressed appropriately from the start.

Don't feel obligated to answer personal questions on topics that include your age, race, marital status, children, or religious and political affiliations. Employment anti-discrimination laws generally prohibit such inquiries.

Don't lie on your resume or employment application.

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