Am I Required to Put My Social Security Number on a Job Application?

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Throughout the job hunt, job seekers fill out a number of application forms, most (if not all) of which have a blank for the person's Social Security number. Before identity theft became such a prevalent crime, most people thought nothing of putting their number in that blank space. However, times have changed.

Identification

  • Employers want to be able to confirm that you are legally employable within the United States. The Social Security number provides that proof of employability.

Background Check

  • Some employers also want to be able to run a background check on potential employees, and the Social Security number makes this check easier to perform.

Credit History

  • Some employers base their hiring decisions on potential employees' credit histories as well, stating that how people take care of their credit is an indication of their character. Unfortunately, in difficult economic times, many people's credit scores suffer, and this can take a toll on your employability.

Requirements

  • According to the Federal Privacy Act of 1974, any person or entity demanding that you disclose your Social Security number must state by what law the information is required, and what will be done with the information.

What to Do

  • When filling out a job application form, you may write "to be provided upon employment" in the blank for your Social Security number. If the employer wishes to perform a background check as well, you may have to provide your Social Security number for that purpose.

References

  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Dan
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