Verifying Employment When a Company Has Gone out of Business

Verifying Employment When a Company Has Gone out of Business

Falsifying Employment History on ApplicationIt is not uncommon today to see the words “company out of business” on a job application.  With the economy in a slump for the last several years, and layoffs abounding everywhere, checking applicants’ references has become harder than ever.

Should you just give up on verifying employment when a company is no longer in business, or is there something more you can do?

25% – 50% of job seekers falsify their work histories:

Surveys show that somewhere between 25% and 50% of job seekers lie on their resumes.  With times being so tough, the incentives to embellish in order to get a job, are high.

Many job seekers think it’s worth it if it helps their resume rise to the top.  And many know that a high percentage of employers never bother to verify the information anyway.

Before you just accept the information on the resume or application, here are some tips to help you.

Tips for verifying employment:

Even though companies are out of business, they leave a paper trail.

Internet searches:

You can do an internet search and find information on the business.

For instance, I did a search for a company I used to work for and easily found that they merged with another business.  Although they are out of business, principals still exist with the new entity, providing a contact for verification.


Another good resource is LinkedIn.  Searching the name of the defunct company can provide contact names for people that worked there.  Another good use of social media is to search for the applicant’s former supervisor or co-workers.

W2 forms:

Probe the possibilities with your job applicant.  Do they have names and contact info for vendors or customers that they can provide to you?  Ask if they can provide letters of reference.  If nothing else, can they give you a copy of their W-2 which would at least confirm their past employment.

Employment Security records:

Even if an employee no longer has their W-2, they can still get access to their employment records by contacting Employment Security.  By completing this form people can obtain copies of their in-state employment.  The same information can be obtained from the Social Security Administration.

Pre-verified resume services:

Everyone’s familiar with third party providers who do pre-employment background checks.  But some services are now popping up with a new twist:  job seekers with pre-verified resumes.

Individuals can pay a third party to pre-verify their work history, education, and even run their own credit and background checks.  The concept is for the job seeker to be able to present a verified background, giving the employer assurance that it’s accurate and saving the employer the time and money.

The wrap-up:

If you don’t believe resumes can be faked, just take a moment to search that topic on the Internet.  There are many websites offering this service and advising job seekers on how to create a fake work history.

Whether you verify the information, or the job seeker has it done for you, taking this important extra step will undoubtedly save you heartache in the long run!

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