Why You Should Verify Employment Information With Past Employers

On resumes, you often don’t need to include the exact months of employment; years or even seasons (for example, Summer 2012) are sufficient. However, if you’re completing a job application, you may be asked to verify employment information from past employers. In some cases, the job application will ask for month and year you started and ended employment. Be very certain the dates you give are correct. Although you may feel certain, call the human resources departments of each of your previous employers and verify: your dates of employment, your supervisor (in some cases, employers keep a record of supervisor, in other cases they don’t, and remember your official supervisor might not be the person you worked with the most), your title, and your salary history. Also ask about what information they provide to prospective employers who will inquire about you, such as reason for termination of employment. If you were terminated for cause (in other words, fired), it’s important that you know whether the employer will reveal this information. Ideally, you would have collected this employment information before you ended employment, but if not then call HR and ask. All this only takes a few minutes of your time, but it will ensure your career development file—your career history file—is both complete and accurate. You’ll now have all this information, whether you need for bar admission applications, job applications, or some other purpose in the future. You’re also protected in case the employer goes out of business, or loses or destroys its records. And most importantly, you can ensure that whatever information you provide prospective employers will match the information provided by your past employers—crucial since employers can interpret any inaccuracies as misrepresentations, lies, or sloppiness, all of which are grounds to either not hire you, or fire you even years later. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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Teacher lectures students in a classroom

My grandparents owned a two-story walkup in Brooklyn, New York. When I was a child, my cousins and I would take turns asking each other questions, Trivial Pursuit style. If we got the question correct, we moved up one step on the staircase. If we got the question wrong, we moved down one step. The winner was the person who reached the top landing first. While we each enjoyed serving as the “master of ceremonies on 69th Street,” peppering each other with rapid-fire questions, I enjoyed the role of maestro the most of all my cousins. I suppose I was destined to be an educator.

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