Can Employers Find Out Your Work History?

The Prepared Resume - Can Employers Find Out Your Work History

Can employers find out your work history? Submitting resumes, participating in networking events, and improving interview skills are essential elements of a job search process. However, many job seekers forget about background checks.

There are various reasons companies run background checks. For example, if they see you come to the office late or are irresponsible with the tasks and projects, they will consider you a liability.

Most companies run a background check to protect their businesses from employees' negligence. At the same time, they want to protect themselves from lawsuits that damage the company's reputation.

Ways Your Employer Can Find Out Your Work History

Can employers find out your work history? The simple answer is “Yes” but it's not that straightforward. An employer can see your work history but it's certainly a manual process that is not perfect. Companies can look into various facts about you, including your performance, productivity, and previous terminations. The common action employers take is to perform a background check to be a criminal history search.

A potential employer will notify you in writing if they intend to contact your previous employer and referees. In order for an employer to perform additional information about you, consent is required.

For example, when an employer rejects your job application due to the results of a background check, you can and should ALWAYS request a copy of the report. Here are a few things most employers want to know during a background check.

Employment Verification

Prospective employers and recruiting managers often verify candidates' employment history. The purpose is to ensure the information mentioned on the resume is accurate.

When performing a background check, recruiting managers will figure out about the company where you have worked, the duration of your employment, job title, and salary. It is crucial to provide the contact information of your previous employer so that the prospective employer can verify the information. Dishonesty while crafting a resume is unnecessary.

Credit Checks

Although credit checks don't have to do with your employment history directly, they impact your hiring chances. Employers perform a credit check to obtain your personal information. The information includes your address, social security number, and financial records, including car payments, debts, mortgages, credit card loans, defaulted loans, and later payments.

Credit Checks

We recommend obtaining a free copy of your credit report annually. Organizations such as TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian can provide you with credit reports. It is a good practice to send these details to your prospective employer. Otherwise, your potential employer will access these documents officially.

Criminal Record

Obtaining a person's criminal record varies from state to state in America. Some states don't allow employers to ask questions about past incidents. We recommend contacting your State Department of Labor and asking them what a potential employer can check.

When it comes to criminal records, a prospective employer must consider the nature of the crime, the time of occurrence, and its relevance to the job you want to get. So, this is the kind of information your potential employer may check and verify.

Should You Disclose Your Work History to Employers

Work History

But what about your work history? Can employers find out about past jobs? Do they have that kind of power to research your previous employers? If so, should you go ahead and disclose information about your work history? I get it, all these questions rolling through your head can feel overwhelming and we can easily stress out over this topic. So let me just review a few facts.

Employers are all about their organizations' security. That's why they perform pre-employment investigations. They want to reduce their business risk. In the 21st century, background checks are common.

Employers will look into your work history, obtain your credit report, and obviously have the ability to check your character references (if you provide them). The purpose is to figure out whether you are a suitable employee for their company. But a background check is not just going to spit out your entire work history. Verifications such as background checks are intended to serve as a criminal-history check to look for potentially concerning activity in your past.

The seriousness of the background check mainly depends on the job type, the company, and job responsibilities. For example, if you have applied for a government job, the government entity will run a thorough investigation and be thorough to find out aspects about your life.

In general, I recommend providing relevant information pertaining to your work experience on your resume. Most employers want at least 5-7 years of work history. However, some may ask for information about all the jobs you have held during your career.

You should disclose up to 7-10 years of employment history, depending on the security clearance level. A confidential clearance requires you to disclose at least five years of work history. However, top-secret clearance requires disclosing ten years of employment history.

Provide Information on your Contacts 

Besides your employment history, an employer may require you to provide contact information. Remember, this includes information about your previous employers, managers, and supervisors.

Your prospective employer may also ask for your permission to speak to your previous employers. If you have an excellent work history, don't hesitate to show consent. Provide them with the names, last known phone numbers, and email addresses.

On the other hand, if you don't have enough information or details, you can simply provide a prospective employer with the HR department's contact information. That way, your prospective employer can run an adequate background check.

Should You Lie If You Were Fired?

No, your should not lie to a potential employer if you were fired from a job. Conversely, it typically is not a requirement to voluntarily disclose that information unless specifically and directly asked.

When you lie about your termination during a job application, it can lead to severe consequences. Hopefully you knew that already. Lying damages your career and reputation. But more importantly, it displays your character which can obviously prevent you from getting a job.

A prospective employer uses different ways to find out facts about your job application. Your potential employer may check references and contact your previous company to verify the information you have added to your resume.

Even if you get away with a seemingly inconsequential lie, they can always come back to haunt you. You risk your career and reduce chances of getting a job. Therefore, it is crucial to be truthful when asked specific and direct questions.

Lying about the information on your resume questions your morals and ethics damaging your career and reputation. Most companies are less likely to extend job offers if they find out about your deception or lies.

Besides, they may spread the word about you on social networks and dissuade other companies from hiring you. If your employer finds out about your lies after hiring you, the chances are that they will terminate you.


Can employers find out your work history? Yes. They perform background checks to find out your employment history. It is often the final step taken by companies to ensure they make an informed decision. Otherwise, they will become prone to a wide range of potential risks.

A background check is an excellent way for many companies to verify information on your resume. It is an essential part of the hiring process. Employers want to ensure they hire a suitable person; someone who is not a liability to their company.

Finding out your work history allows employers to know and analyze your performance. Employers don't want to hire unproductive people who negatively contribute to a company's ROIs.

I recommend providing all the applicable and necessary information to your prospective employer. Not only is this professional, but it is also an excellent way to build trust with recruiters. Building trust is one of the most important steps in increasing your chances of getting hired.

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