All job applications require applicants to include past employment information, and many people hit a snag when they have to enter employment start dates and end dates for previous employers. You might find yourself wondering, "What is my hire date?" or "When did I stop working there?" If you don't keep track, this could be a problem because employers want the most accurate details when reviewing these applications.
How to Get Employment History Dates
Even though you might want to estimate the date of employment, this can come back to haunt you because employers check references and do background checks that may provide the information. Should the dates conflict, you may not make the cut. But if you don't have what you need to fill in the application accurately, don't worry, there are several options that you can try.
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The first is to contact the previous employer. If you didn't get along with the boss, you could try putting your request in writing or contacting the human resources department. They should have this information on file; be sure to ask for that in writing. Alternatively, go to the resources provided by the experts at the Social Security Administration and look for an SSA-7050-F4 form; this is known as the Request for Social Security Earnings Information. You can request the Detailed Earnings Information and include a year range for the search. You'll have to pay a fee for this; check the pricing schedule and include that payment.
It can take time to receive the hire dates you need for job applications, so make your requests before filling anything out. You could hire a company to perform a background check on yourself as a last option. This background check will cost more, but you'll get what you need plus other information if requested, like driving records, medical records and your credit history.
Where Else Can I Find My Hire Dates?
You can also get a copy of your employment history by researching your tax records if you have saved them. The IRS also offers Form 4506, letting taxpayers request tax forms from prior years. This form can also take some time and cost you a bit of money; it's cheaper to request the SSA-7050-F4 form from Social Security, and they include what you need all in one report. The wheels of the IRS and SSA can move quite slowly, though, so it could take several months to hear back.
Credit reports don't show employment or unemployment histories since neither are directly related to lending histories. These show all the loans that people take out over specific amounts of time and if and when you paid them off. Still, many employers run credit checks before hiring applicants; this can be vital information if the position revolves around finance, sales or other roles that handling money. For a free credit report, call 1-877-322-8228.
About Employer Background Checks
According to the experts at the Federal Trade Commission, more employers are performing background checks than ever before, but job applicants need to understand their rights. First off, hiring managers must ask applicants if they agree to do the background check; you're allowed to say no, but they might not hire you. Companies must ask the same questions to all applicants without discrimination by race, age, religion, gender and other protected categories.
Employers may ask applicants about their education, employment history and questions about credit history, finances and other public records. They're also allowed to ask about an applicant's public social media activities. They aren't permitted to ask about medical information during the interview process, which also applies to genetic information. However, they may be allowed to ask about this if it relates to the job, but that conversation won't be factored into the hiring process; they can only ask after they hire you.