Military.com notes that many people fail background checks because of misrepresentation on an application. About.com reports that other reasons someone might fail a background check include felony and misdemeanor convictions, serious credit issues, drug use, previous or current gang affiliation, a negative work history and dishonorable military discharge. Other background check disqualifiers may include a poor driving record and domestic violence allegations.
According to Military.com, failure of a background check may not automatically disqualify someone from obtaining a job if the applicant was upfront with the employer about the issues that may appear on a background check. The source also advises those who might have issues passing a background check to seek employment in a field that does not do background checks or where the employer might be more willing to overlook past indiscretions.
About.com notes that applicants to some fields, such as criminology or law enforcement, who fail a background check may not be able to obtain a job. The background check may constitute a test to see how much an employer can trust an employee, such as in law enforcement where new hires are trusted with protecting the best interests of citizens. If a conviction for a violent crime is reported on the background check, it could remove an applicant from consideration for a position because of the potential legal ramifications if the person committed a similar crime again.