The complete truth: employers accessing employment history

In the context of the modern workforce, professionals often chop and change their career path. But, when someone is seeking to apply for a new occupation, is it relevant to include all of your past employment history on your resume? And, is it ever appropriate, or possible, for an employer to check your employment history without your knowledge? These are important questions that arise amongst the anxiety and excitement of job seeking, so Business Kitz have written this blog to give you some answers. 

Do I have to include my total employment history in my CV?

It is best to only include the most relevant experience for the position you are applying for. Most recruiters recommend that CV’s are kept to 2 pages. To meet this succinct format, irrelevant information will have to be sacrificed. Therefore, you do not need to include an extensive list of all previous employment. However, the information that is included must be honest and accurate; do not exaggerate job titles, give false information or stretch the dates of your employment.

Most employers will verify your listed employment history with past employers or references, so do not get caught ‘stretching the truth’! However, employers cannot access a total list of your employment history, unless this is provided by the applicant. Overall, aim for accuracy, honesty and relevance when writing your CV. 

Hot Tip:

It is helpful to list relevant experience, the date of employment and the contact details of the employer. If you are having trouble finding the details of your past employers, you can access these details on the ATO online service via myGov under the ‘Employer’s’ tab. 

Will employers conduct background checks?

Most employers will conduct basic background checks. Most commonly, employers will order a police check that can review the prospective employee’s criminal record. Other background checks are contingent on the nature of employment, such as a Working with Children check, as mandated by the Child Protection Act of 2012. 

More casual background checks may also be made by employers, such as looking at any publicly accessible information available on social media. However, this does not necessarily mean it will reveal employment history.

Can employers ask for the salary history of my relevant employment history?

In Australia, it is not unlawful to inquire about a prospective employee’s salary history, but this information should not be used to discriminate against an applicant. A prospective employer cannot access your salary history or employment history without your knowledge. However, this does not mean you can be dishonest about your previous salary. It is usually recommended that you do not include your salary in your CV, as opportunities for negotiation are more appropriate in the context of interview processes.

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Legal advice

If you have any queries or are unsure about the requirements of a CV, or what employment history an employer can access, you should seek legal advice. Our sister company Legal Kitz can assist in navigating any confusion and can provide you with advice that is tailored to your situation. You can book a free 30-minute consultation with our experienced and highly qualified team via our website now.


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