How to Get and Provide Your Entire Employment History
When applying for a job, you might have come across a request to submit your complete work history. Sometimes this is outlined directly in an application, and other times it’s something you can include on your resume.
Prospective employers are asking for your job history to gauge your relevant work experience. While many employers are only interested in recent or related experiences, a select amount like a draft of all the details.
It sounds daunting, but fortunately, you don’t have to rattle it all off the top of your head. Keep reading to understand what employers are asking of you and lighten your load when trying to fulfill the request!
What Is Complete Employment History?
To put it simply, your complete employment history is a record of all previous work experience. It might seem tedious to write it all out at first, but you’ll thank yourself later when you can reference this record to write up resumes and identify the most relevant experiences on the fly.
Complete work history should include your previous employer’s name and location, as well as your job title, its duties and responsibilities, and any other positions held throughout your employment—include dates!
These points are essential in building a complete record, but it doesn’t need to stop there. Feel free to add any unique or relevant details you feel will help you stand out or clarify elements that might not seem immediately apparent as described. Let your new employer know about your promotions, accomplishments, certifications acquired. These embellishments are helping you cover the bases.
Still can’t picture it? Here’s an example:Can Employers Verify Your Work History?
The majority of employers will ask for your work history—but can they verify it? Yes.
Employers can reach out to any jobs you’ve given them, and in contacting them, verify titles, duties, and dates. All the more reason to be honest, right? Granted, accidents happen, but you can prevent stalling the hiring process by taking steps to know your work history by keeping it accurate and up to date.
How to Find Your Employment History
A complete work history is intensive, especially if you’re someone who’s been working for a long time or at a lot of places. No one’s expecting you to have all this detailed information memorized. However, you’ll want your work history as accurate as possible to avoid those hiccups that could put a stall to getting hired.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options to obtain the information you need, and accomplishing it is simpler than you think.
1. Contact Previous Employers
If you remember the names of companies you’ve worked for, at the very least, you can always reach out to them yourself. This way, you and your prospective employer will be getting the same information about the work history. For the quickest results, contact the Human Resources department directly if you can. They should be able to share all the essential details about your time with them upon request.
In some cases, this company might have gone out of business. If that’s the fact you’re faced with, then refer to one of the many other options to acquiring your employment history that we’ll cover here.
2. Sift Through Old Tax Documents
Accompanying your tax records and returns are W2’s that will outline employment dates with the necessary names. If you have these documents filed away, it’s worth pulling them out to extract this information.
Some folks use online services to file taxes, and if you’re one of them, this option still pertains to you. Log in and search for these documents electronically—but remember that obtaining records in this way will only go as far back as you’ve been using the service.
3. Reach Out to the Social Security Administration
The Social Security Administration can provide you with a detailed statement of your employment history with the simple cost of filling out a Release for Social Security Earnings Information form.
4. Turn to Tech
Search your computer for resumes, applications, or other related files that might be able to fill in the blanks for you. Tending toward the internet is a reasonable next step if nothing comes back on your hard drive.
For instance, if you’ve ever created a profile on one of the many professional networking sites circulating the web, there’s a good chance you can turn to it for some of this information. Often when you’re joining these sites for the first time, you will have had to provide it anyway.
Tips to Keep Track of Your Employment history
Generating your employment history from nothing is a lot of work. Save yourself from starting over by merely keeping it updated. Instead of forgetting about it until your work history is unsurprisingly relevant again, take in the following tips to cut yourself a break.
1. Save Information to the Cloud
Your critical electronic documents will need protection in case anything should ever happen to the devices they’re stored on. One proactive step in that direction would be uploading them to cloud services that you can access anytime anywhere —nowadays, you can find plenty of free file storage services that’ll do the trick.
2. Create a Master Resume
A resume with only recent or relevant experience may be okay for some employers. However, it would be best to keep a master resume that outlines all of your work and educational experiences for instances where that isn’t the case - or for reference. Creating simpler resumes from that will be so much easier on you in the long run. However, its function as a reference is only useful if you keep it updated, which brings us to the last tip.
3. Update, Update, Update!
Whether your master resume is a document, or you’ve utilized one of those many aforementioned professional networking sites, you’ll want to keep your information updated. Changes to note could include (but aren’t limited to) changing jobs, getting promoted, receiving a raise, having alterations or additions to your responsibilities, and making accomplishments.
By keeping your resume and employment history up to date, you’re doing yourself a huge favor. After all, maintenance is more manageable than starting from the ground up! The upkeep is worth it, as you’ll have an honest and accurate work history to front yourself with.
If you are hunting for a job, be sure to check out our other guides on employment! At Lanteria, we provide insights from hiring managers – so you know what recruiters are looking for, straight from the source.