How Can I Get My Employment History?

When you are creating a resume or creating a work history for a background check, it is crucial to create a comprehensive and accurate list of your prior employers. Although there is no single centralised agency or databases to access your employment history, government records and your personal files can help you create a comprehensive and accurate list of your prior employers.

Internal Revenue Service

Tax documents are a good resource when researching your employment history. Both W-2 Forms and income tax returns should include all of the employers that you worked for in that particular year. If you no longer have copies of these documents, you can request them in writing from the IRS using Form 4506-T: Request for Transcript of Tax Return. Each form can be used to request up to four separate tax returns.

Social Security Administration

Every year, the Social Security Administration sends workers an Earnings Report, which gives a comprehensive list of all of the employers from whom you have accrued taxable earnings. If you have not received your report in the mail, you will need to fill out Form SSA-7004, Request for Social Security Statement.

This document will ask your name as shown on your Social Security card, current Social Security Number, other Social Security numbers you have used in the past, you date of birth and how much money you earned the previous year. You will then need to sign and date the form and submit your request by mail.

Personal Contacts and Files

If you have the names and contact information for all of your previous employers, contact them directly and they will be able to provide you with the exact dates that you worked there, as well as your official job title and salary history. If you worked for one or more government agencies, contact the main human resources department for that jurisdiction; they will be able to send you a history of your employment with them.

If you were employed as an intern while you were in college, the registrar's office at your school can give you a copy of your transcripts, which will list your internships and the dates you completed them.

If you are a freelancer or have done other contract work and received direct deposits, use your bank statements to determine the dates that you worked for each of your employers. You also can use banking and financial records to determine the legal names of your previous companies.

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About the Author

Anna Green has been published in the "Journal of Counselor Education and Supervision" and has been featured regularly in "Counseling News and Notes," Keys Weekly newspapers, "Travel Host Magazine" and "Travel South." After earning degrees in political science and English, she attended law school, then earned her master's of science in mental health counseling. She is the founder of a nonprofit mental health group and personal coaching service.

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