Whether recently married or you’re returning to your previous name, there are a few things to keep in mind when applying for jobs and disclosing your aliases.

One of the more common issues when conducting background checks is that women do not report their maiden name or other previously married names. While it might not seem like a big deal, it can cause delays and identity verification issues for background screeners. This makes gathering information that is required regarding your education, employment, and possible criminal history difficult.

A few ways to ensure this doesn’t happen, always inform your employer of any previous names you’ve had. If there isn’t a line for “previous names” on an application, add a note with your maiden or other legally used names. Even if your employer chooses to not search all your aliases, you can make a trustworthy first impression by being upfront with your personal information.

You should also be sure to notify any prior educational institutions and employers of any name changes. If you are married during or after your time at an educational institution, you will want both names listed so your university can find your name and your degree when education verifications are done.

Additionally, be sure to include your middle initial so that background screeners can give accurate information when submitting the name to obtain records. While sharing your full middle name is better, a middle initial will assist in finding accurate records as well.

Finally, be sure to reveal any differences in your current or previous legal names. For example, if you were born with the name Ann-Marie, but started using only Ann as your first name and Marie as your second name on various employment documents (or even your driver’s license), both variations should be shared. Little name discrepancies like those that are not disclosed can cause issues when looking for all records.

As always, ask your potential employer when in doubt and they’ll let you know what they need in order to do an accurate and thorough background check.


By: Sarah Masa-Myers