When I was a bit younger, I spent about a year doing on-call IT work for a local family-owned insurance re-seller in my town.

It involved a lot of server / desktop administration, managing their network, etc.

This is experience I consider relevant to other work that I'll be doing in the future.

However, they paid me in cash and I was never provided with a 1099.

At the time, I was young and didn't really know whether it was a big deal to work like this, but now that I'm older I realize that I really should have filed a tax return on that work and received some sort of documentation.

This was within the past 7 years, and a position I'm currently applying to asked me to include any/all work experience over the last 7 years, so I wrote it down, and put down the name / number of the owner of the company as my reference, as we're still on good terms and he could verify that I was indeed working for them for that period.

When the employment verification contacted them, they stated they didn't keep records for their independent contractor employees, but did say that I was working for them for that time.

The employment verification company then called me to ask about it, to see if I had a 1099 or any documentation that confirmed the dates I was working for them, but I do not.

I explained to them that I was paid cash and don't have any documentation of the work performed or dates, as the owner was a family friend and they'd just paid me in cash on an on-call basis for work performed.

After telling them this, they very quickly responded with "OK", said that was all they needed, and quickly ended the call.

I'm confused about whether or not this hurts my prospects with the company that I've been applying for; I'm not sure whether or not being unable to provide documentation for a position you've listed in your experience is considered 'failing' an employment verification or background check.

My question is would this generally have a negative impact on my chances of receiving a job I'd applied to?

If so, an explanation of how / why would be great for future reference.

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    It was a real job, and it was relevant so I think it was a good idea to put it on your resume, and that you should keep it on. I doubt it hurt your chances since they already verified with the company, and you had an honest, reasonable explanation for why you had no documentation. Maybe you can contact them and ask for some sort of letter that acknowledges that you worked there and were paid in cash just in case this happens again? Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 20:47

2 Answers 2


I used to work in employment for a large corporation hiring Information Technology professionals. Many, many workers listed work they had done which was unpaid or "cash". I think it is appropriate as long as you can provide contact information to verify the work. If you have no contact information then don't add it to your resume as it raises a "red flag" as a resume pad.


My question is would this generally have a negative impact on my chances of receiving a job I'd applied to?

It shouldn't. In my opinion, your major problem here is that your prospective employer cannot verify the fact that you worked on that IT job. They may not count that role when assessing your level of experience (or just give it little importance).

However, the verification company is not the only way you have to demonstrate your previous experience in the area: If that topic is important for the position, you surely will be tested about it during the interviews - and doing well there is the best way to prove your experience.

PS: Regarding your original question, "Should I list undocumented work (Cash) on an Employment Verification and/or Resume?", the standard advice is to list it only if it is relevant to the position you are applying for.

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