Can an Employer Check Your Work History?

Can an Employer Check Your Work History?

When job hunting, it pays to know what a hiring manager can discover about an applicant. No federal laws exist in regards to what an employer can ask or check without the candidate’s knowledge. However, state laws to regulate the information processes, and it’s up to each applicant to find out what they are.

Regardless, commonalities exist in all areas. The basic factors employers can check include employment history, job titles, start and end dates for each position, and job descriptions. Inquiries about prior salaries are not legal in all locations. Companies are allowed to call former employers and discuss any data that is provided on a job application or resume.

Most prior employers won’t disclose information about an individual’s job performance. However, a potential employer can still discover this off the record when using informal channels, such as staff and former co-workers. Keep in mind that some employers hire third-party organizations to verify work histories.

Many job seekers wonder if they have to list a complete work history, or if employers will only check what’s on the job application or resume. This depends on local laws and what type of job it is. Sometimes, employers or the contracted firm will initiate in-depth background checks.

These might include criminal record assessments and credit history evaluations. While local laws do place some restrictions on these procedures, omissions and false information will come to light during these checks because they include the complete work history. Even seemingly minor discrepancies, such as the wrong dates for a particular job, can create a red flag.

Sometimes the scary part isn’t what background checks might reveal but what a prior employer might say, especially when the job termination wasn’t amicable. While there is no guarantee that a prior employer will say positive things, don’t burn any bridges. Regardless, it’s important to only make truthful statements on a resume and during the job interview.