How to Look Up Someone's Employment History

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Employment history generally may be found in two different ways: Through the information contained on a resume or job application, or through an employment history search on the Internet. Although the resume may provide the fastest and most straight-forward access to employment history, it may not be as complete as an online employment history search.

Employment History Using Resume

Obtain a copy of the resume of the person whose employment history you need. While every resume may not have complete information, it can often provide valuable information about the work history of the person in question.

Read the "work history" or "past employers" section of the resume and make notes of all contact information for former employers.

Contact any former employers listed on the resume. While state laws vary regarding what information a former employer may release on his employees, you can usually verify dates of employment. Check with the state department of labor to verify exactly what questions you may ask of former employers.

Online Employment History Search

Gather the information needed for the employment history search. Certain information such as proper name, Social Security number, birth date, and address (both personal addresses and business addresses) may be helpful in verifying that you have identified the correct person.

Visit a website that performs background checks online, Intelius or People Records. Select at least one site and begin a basic employment history search on the home page of the site.

Check the names that the website returns after the preliminary search. In some cases, the website will return a list of several different names. If you have entered a Social Security number, you will normally find that only one name will match that number, which simplifies the process. If you have not entered a Social Security number, select the person by verifying details such as age and state of residence.

Perform the employment history search on the chosen person by choosing "proceed now." Some websites will charge a fee for the employment history report, with prices beginning around $21.95 as of August 2010.


Prior to conducting an employment history search, check both local and state laws pertaining to background investigations. In some states, you cannot perform such searches without the express permission of the subject.