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I am new to the job market out of HS and I'm looking for jobs to collect money before I go to college. While filling out multiple forms, I couldn't help but notice how many asked for previous addresses. I'd like to know why the employer needs my previous addresses. The reason is because I just moved, but I've heard that employers use this information for things like trying to decide how long I'll be able to work there and if it's worth my time.

Can somebody please explain what employers usually look for when they ask for previous addresses?

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They are looking for patterns of stability.

First: The logic is that people that move less are more stable. The thought being that if you plan ahead you have little reason to move as you aren't needing to improve your situation as often as somebody who isn't planning. This would be different than somebody who is constantly moving from place to place as situations tend not to work out as often as they should.

Second: It can also be used for a flag for certain types of behaviour. People who get evicted often tend to display a lot of traits that wouldn't be attractive for an employer.

Third: Stable employment requires a stable home. This one is arguable, but some employers see it this way.

As for your situation, I wouldn't worry if you just moved. Just out of high school I would assume that your previous residence is several years at minimum.

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One way they use the previous address is as part of a background investigation. Knowing the places you have lived allows them to pull some credit info, or arrest reports. They need more than a name to match you to the records.

  • Thanks. DarkSheep's answer is a little more detailed, but knowing that they can use addresses to get credit info is useful information as well. – person27 Oct 4 '14 at 2:18

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