I took two months off between jobs (voluntarily) before my current job.

My current job isn't working out, so after 6 weeks, I'm interviewing again.

I haven't told my prospective new employers about my current job. I'm just pretending that my time off lasted 4 months instead of 2. Will the standard background check uncover my current (hopefully short-lived) job?

All jobs are/were with major corporations.

Edit: I live in the US.

  • 1
    How do you think they will know you worked here unless you tell them?
    – solarflare
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 2:17
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    Not sure--that's why I'm asking! Maybe there are IRS records with my payroll information that are publicly available?
    – Wolf
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 2:20
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    Not sure where you live but where I live (Australia) we have laws prohibiting this kind of thing. In short, unless you tell them they won't know. If you're applying for a job where they can find out (ie police/military etc) you will be asked to sign a form allowing them access to your tax records which is how they would find out. Out of the question for private corporations.
    – solarflare
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 2:34
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    Doubtful: irs.gov/privacy-disclosure/irs-privacy-policy
    – solarflare
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 4:46
  • 1
    Yes, the two jobs are in the same industry. Since posting this question, I read that some background-checking services (ADP?) can indeed suss out many omitted jobs in your resume.
    – Wolf
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 9:40

3 Answers 3


Will the standard background check uncover my current (hopefully short-lived) job?

A solid background check will uncover all jobs - including any that are short-lived.

It's not clear what you mean by "standard". Some companies conduct more extensive checks than others.

You might get lucky. You might not. It's better not to lie.

  • How, exactly, would they uncover "all jobs"? Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 11:02
  • No, seriously, how? The ones I've experienced outsourced everything and were barely capable of reading a CV. Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 20:54
  • Many companies now use third party services for this, and those third party services make it their job to be thorough. So update your resume and make sure any job application you fill out lists the job. Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 21:20

As far as I know they cannot dig any deeper than what you provide them. The only way anyone could ever know you worked somewhere is by either calling that place or figuring out where you worked from your tax return. The IRS does not give out information to just anyone who asks for it. Even if they seek out the IRS, got that you are working at your current company, they'd still have to get someone to call there to determine how long you worked there. What would that even tell them?

With that said, a background check does the following: verifies your employment history that you provided, verify education you provided, does a special kind of credit check to see if you missed payments after 30 days or if you owe money, checks criminal background with state and federal levels. They may also call references you provided but I rarely hear of this happening. At my last private employment, my background check process came back in 48 hours.

They don't send out an investigator as that will cost a lot of money for the investigation company. Now there are some exceptions like if you're trying to get a security clearance or if you work for the bank or nuclear power grid. They do a different type of investigation but a typical company isn't going to dig any deeper than what you provided them.

Edit: Not that I'm saying you should be untruthful. I'm just saying at a private company they can only do so much as they are limited by money and time. Do they want to spend $1000s of dollars to a background company to dig out your entire life story? It's about a risk factor and if they can cover what they believe are risk factors, then that is good enough. You should always be truthful and never lie about your history, however small in detail as that may come up later. If they find out you made a small lie on a previous employer, they will begin to ask themselves if you can be untruthful about something small, what else?

And that finding may not be from a background check. Maybe a co-worker from that company becomes a manager at your place. He's like, "Oh yeah, I know him he worked where I was for 6 months last year." Then someone says, "Hold on, I thought he was off on vacation. Let me dig into this somemore."

  • @JoeStrazzere Yes I mention that. That is a provided information. You provide a social security number, therefore they can search your credit history. You also consent to it by signing a consent form to perform a credit check. You can not provide a social security number, dob, alias, etc and not sign the consent form and they CANNOT look into your credit history, period. As far as getting the job, probably not.
    – Dan
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 14:10

A reasonable background check will likely reveal anywhere which you've drawn a paycheck. So?

Generally an application or resume is for you to list your relevant experience -- a way for you to advertise your qualifications to a potential employer. I would never list a job that lasted less than six months unless it was a fixed contract. In that case, it would be a bullet point under the heading of the entity I'm contracting as.

More of a problem would be having large spans missing from your employment history. This can indicate underlying problems likely to affect your work performance.

The only exception to this would be if your filling out an application for a security clearance, in which case you've failed and will not be given another chance. An application for security clearance is very different from a job application and you would know if you're filling one out.

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