General Question

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

On a job application, what if I didn't put down my social security number?

Asked by shpadoinkle_sue (7188points) May 9th, 2010

I was talking with a friend this evening and she mentioned that she doesn’t put down her social security number on job applications. There had been an incident where some employees of a linen store, in state, that had just thrown away old job applications. I didn’t really realize how easy it would be for someone to just get ahold of my social security number. I know it wouldn’t look well upon myself if I didn’t put anything down. But, I don’t want my information to end up in the wrong hands. Suggestions of what I could do?

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14 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

Explain your hesitation and let them know you will provide it should they ever hire you, and need to file W9s.

RedPowerLady's avatar

You can always say that you will give it to them if you are chosen to be hired.

meagan's avatar

I wouldn’t put it down. My identity was stolen recently. They misspelled my name because of how I sign my name. I think they got my social from a job application, because I’d have to sign, too. Just be careful <3

YARNLADY's avatar

I wouldn’t give up my SS# that easily. If the prospective employer makes a big deal out of your refusal, you do not want to work for them – too unprofessional.

lillycoyote's avatar

As long as you didn’t put a false SS# down I suppose it might not be a big deal, but it you get hired, obviously you have to give it up. Though it might prevent you from being considered for the job. For better or worse, employers like to find out all sorts of things about you before they even consider hiring you, credit rating, etc. It’s messed up but that is the reality of today’s job market. Take it or leave it.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I would make a note stating that you will give them your SS# upon hiring or request. They may want your SS# to do background or credit checks.

Kraigmo's avatar

I’ve always done what @Seaofclouds suggests, and no one’s ever made an issue. “Will provide upon request” is what i write. Except at temp agencies, where I’ve always given them the number right away, because they’ll definitely need it.

perspicacious's avatar

If they haven’t called for it my guess is that you are not being considered for a job. They couldn’t even get a credit report without it.

jo_with_no_space's avatar

I agree with @lillycoyote – I understand your concerns about privacy and I have had similar ones myself, with all the many job applications of mine that never came of anything. Before I started my current job, my employer asked for practically every piece of sensitive information a person has, including my passport number, bank account details and full medical history. Of course I felt super-uncomfortable about that. But I had the feeling that, especially with regard to my medical history, it would really count against me to withhold information, as it would like like I had something to hide.

john65pennington's avatar

Not giving your SS # might arouse suspicion, especially if its a government position you are seeking. there are several reasons for this request: if hired, taking out taxes, health insurance, background check, and in some cases your credit score.

With so many theft identities in America now, an employer wants to make sure you are who you are. and, can you blame them? i would be cautious, but not overly cautious.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@jo_with_no_space: It’s uncomfortable because it’s illegal. According to the EEOC, “An employer may not ask a job applicant to answer medical questions or take a medical exam before making a job offer.”

jo_with_no_space's avatar

@La_chica_gomela I’m in the UK, but yes, we have similar anti-discrimination laws here. I believe I was not asked for medical information until after the job offer. I was however told that my employment was subject to passing a medical, which I’m only about to have this afternoon, over 2 months after actually starting the job! – yeah my employers are pretty incompetent. The way they’ve handled my medical situation has been atrocious.

ValPalz's avatar

I always suggest never putting down your social, only when you’ve basically booked the job and they question you about the social should you then give it to them. Always make sure the place is legit of course, like a franchise more so than a privately owned little store, but either way you should be fine.

me2010's avatar

They won’t be able to do a backround check on you. They will need it at some point. you can leave it blank and provide it later.

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