When you change jobs often, it can be difficult to remember them all. However, if you are updating your resume you will need to state prior employers and at least the month and year in which you were employed. Furthermore, if you are completing a job application, you may need to list precise employment dates. To ensure you have this information handy, get a listing of your work history.

Contact the Social Security Administration to request a copy of your work history and dates. You will need Form 7050, which is available online. Check the Detailed Earnings Information box on the form. You can request information dating back to 40 years; however, your fee depends on the number of years the search includes.

Contact your state work force agency (see Resources). Employers are required to report wages quarterly to their state department of labor. The state agency can provide a printout of all the employers who reported earnings for you.

Use a background check company to do the search for you (see Resources). Delivery time and fees vary by company.

Ask your prior employer. Most likely, you completed an application for your previous job that included your employment history and dates. See if the employer still has your personnel records and request the information from him.


Check your W-2s. These do not list employment dates, but they state the employer. If you cannot find your W-2s, ask the IRS to send you a transcript.