Can Employers Check Your Employment History?

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What can employers check when they are considering you for a job? Can they find out where you worked before and how long you held each job? How about why you left the position? What else can they legally discover about you?

Employers can verify your employment history in regards to job title and job description, your starting and ending dates of employment, and your salary. Organizations can call former employers and share the information which you have supplied in your resume or job application and ask previous employers to confirm its accuracy.

What Information Will Employers Share?

Some employers will provide detailed information, but others won't. It depends on the company. Former employers will generally not share information about your job performance. However, if employers contact staff at former employers through informal channels, this type of information could be divulged off the record.

What else can a company ask about you? There are no federal laws that limit what can be asked about prospective employees. However, state laws vary. Here's information on what employers can ask when they are considering a candidate for a job.

Who Does the Checking?

Some employers verify work history themselves. Others outsource this task to third party reference checking organizations. In some cases, employers or the firms they contract will conduct more extensive background checks which may also include an evaluation of your credit history and criminal record, depending on the type of job you are applying for.

Can Employers Check Only What You Put on Your Resume or Application?

If an employer conducts a background check, they are not limited to checking just the information you list on your resume or a job application. Don't think that because you didn't put it on the application form or resume that the employer won't find out about it.

They could check your entire employment history and when they do that they may be concerned if they find omissions and, depending on what it was, it could be held against you.

It also depends on what the company is asking you to provide. For example, if a company asks for a certain amount of years of work history in a job posting and you don't include all the jobs you held during that time period, it could also be held against you. In addition, when you sign a job application you are attesting to the fact that you have given the employer all the information they have asked for.

Here's an overview of what employers can check

Know Your Employment History

Be sure that you provide accurate information on your job applications and resume. Don't guess as to where you worked when. If you don't remember the details recreate your work history before you apply. Here's how to find your employment history if you're fuzzy on the dates.

What's most important? The bottom line is that it's important to be truthful with all information that you supply to prospective employers. If you're worried about what prior employers will say about you, you should proactively cultivate and supply positive recommendations to counter any potential negative feedback about your performance that might be uncovered as an employer checks on your employment background.

Read More: Employment Background Checks | How to Find Your Employment History | Interview Question: Explain the Gap in Your Employment History