Q&A: What Does "Employer Name" on a Job Application Mean?

Updated June 29, 2023

A person sits on the ground and looks thoughtfully at their laptop screen.

Understanding common job application questions can help you perform your job search quickly and efficiently. If you're preparing to fill out job applications, you might wonder what it means when an application asks for an "employer name." Knowing how to respond accurately and effectively might give you an advantage in the process.

In this article, we answer common questions about answering "employer name" on a job application, including why hiring managers ask about prior employer names, what to write and how self-employed people can respond.

What does "employer name" mean on a job application?

Many applications include fields labeled "employer name" in the section about your previous work experience. These fields are where you write the names of the companies you've worked for previously. On paper applications, in which you have limited space, you can include your most recent or relevant jobs. Online application portals often allow you to add more job slots, so you can describe all of your past work experience on the application.

Related: 10 Tips for Completing a Job Application To Get an Interview

Why do companies ask for "employer name" on a job application?

Here are some reasons a hiring manager might ask you to provide the names of your previous employers in a job application:

To verify information on your resume

Asking for your previous employers' names on an application can help the hiring manager confirm that the information on your resume is accurate. If you're applying through an online portal, the hiring manager might see your application before they read your resume, so it's important that the information on each document is the same. While some application portals allow you to upload your resume and fill in employment fields automatically, it can be helpful to read the responses to ensure the program selected the correct information.

Download Resume Template

To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.

Related: How To Request an Employment Verification Letter

To measure your qualifications

Reading a list of your previous employers can help a hiring manager decide if you're a good fit for their organization. Candidates with experience working in related companies or industries might have an advantage in the hiring process because they may already have the skills for their desired position. For example, a candidate for an administrative position at a hospital might list their positions at other medical facilities to show the hiring manager they have experience in a similar facility.

Related: FAQ: How Many Applications Does It Take To Get a Job?

To contact references easily

Hiring managers may ask your permission to contact prior or current employers for a job reference, and having accurate employer information on your application might help in that process. The application might ask for the company's address and phone number. There may also be a field to enter thyour direct supervisor'same, email and phone number owho might provide a reference for you. Most job applications confirm if it's okay for the organization to contact your current employer, so you can ensure only appropriate information reaches your managers.

Related: 9 Tips for Following Up on the Status of a Job Application

What do you include in the "employer name" field on a job application?

Job applications often ask for both current and past employers' names. The application might put current and past employers into two separate sections or allow you to check a box that says "currently employed" underneath a company name to communicate that you still work there. In each field, write the company's name and add any other requested information, such as location, phone number or supervisor's name.

While many companies have nicknames or shortened versions of their name for marketing or branding, using the company's full name on a job application can help you appear more professional. Using the company's official name can also help the hiring manager understand which company you're referring to, because some businesses have similar names. If you're unsure about the company's official name, you might visit the company's website or examine documents from your employment there, like pay stubs or insurance forms.

Related: "How Is Your Previous Experience Relevant to This Role?"

What do you put for "employer name" if you're self-employed?

If you're self-employed, there are two ways you can show your status on your job application. If you own a registered company, you can put the business's official name as your employer's name. Then, you can write "owner" or "founder".

in the slot that asks you about your positionYou can also write "self-employed" in the "employer name" field and then explain what you do. For example, you might write "self-employed copywriter" to show a hiring manager you've been working as a freelance writer for various companies. If you've had different self-employed positions, like being a writer and an editor, you can choose to combine the two or use separate entries for each position.

Related: 9 Tips To Creating a Self-Employed Resume

What do you put for "employer name" if you've had multiple jobs with one company?

Sometimes, you might have worked in several positions with a single organization. For example, you might've started as a warehouse associate with a shipping company and then earned a promotion to inventory manager. If you're applying for a job using an online portal, you may be able to add a second position under a single employer, allowing you to show the hiring manager you held multiple positions. On paper applications or application portals that only allow one position for each employer name entry, you can use the same employer name multiple times to share your musitions.

Related: How To Show a Promotion on Your Resume?

Can I include volunteer work or internships in this section?

If a job application has a separate section for volunteer work and internships, you can put the names of the organizations you worked with in that area. Otherwise, you can include internships and volunteer work alongside other employer names and specify that you were a volunteer or intern. You might include experiences that apply to the job posting, like a technology internship on an application for a software programming position. For internships and volunteer organizations, use the organization's formal name and list your exact title in the provided field.

Related: How To Add Volunteer Work to Your Resume (With Examples)

What do you write for "employer name" if you're seeking your first job?

If you're applying for your first job, you might have few work experiences to list on your job application. You can leave this section blank or include volunteer experience, if you have any. When applying for jobs without experience, it's important to highlight your skills that make you capable of performing the job throughout your application materials.

For example, in your cover letter, you can discuss examples of times you used key skills, like communication, leadership and problem-solving, in school or with extracurricular activities. For example, if you served a captain of a volleyball team, discussing how you motivated your team and managed a practice schedule could highlight your positive attitude and organizational skills.


Explore more articles

  • 10 Job Titles for Quality Assurance (With Salaries and Job Descriptions)
  • What Is Med-Surg Nursing? (With Helpful Job Requirements)
  • 13 Jobs at U.S. Embassies (With Salaries and Job Duties)
  • How To Become a Safety Engineer in 6 Steps
  • Fashion Modeling vs. Commercial Modeling: What's the Difference?
  • What Are Professional Qualifications? (Definition and Types)
  • How To Become a Police Officer in Washington State
  • 40 Best Online Jobs (Salaries, Duties and Where To Find)
  • Full Stack Developer vs. Software Engineer: What's the Difference?
  • Transitioning Out of a Career in Sales
  • How To Become an Art Therapist in 7 Steps (With Salary)
  • 19 High-Paying Career Choices for Medical Doctors