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Thread: SS number on applications?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    SS number on applications?

    I'm very reluctant to include my ss number on an application for a city/state but does this reduce my chances of getting an offer? For the record, I've had my personal information compromised by not one but TWO previous government employers. Should I just put "available upon offer?"

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Wow. I've put my SS number on everything it seems and never had a problem. I feel for you. It seems to me that in this day and age what you're proposing would be acceptable or at least understandable....
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  3. #3
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    I usually leave mine off, and write "will disclose upon request" in the SS field if it's needed for a background check. If I"m not hired, what happens with the applications?
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  4. #4
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Yeah......

    Leave it off the application......it will give the rest of us a better shot at the job

    Just kidding, I would leave it off
    Skilled Adoxographer

  5. #5
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Unless they want to run a background check, credit check etc. I would leave it off. If they want to run those things, you better be a final candidate. And it is only then that they need to know that information IMHO.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  6. #6
    How was it "compromised"?

    In any case, I've never had a problem leaving my SSN off a form unless it was for HR purposes.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Many employers ask for information that I am reluctant to provide. Driver's license is another example. This should not be required until they are ready to make an offer. I leave it all off the application.

    Another point, somewhat off-topic, is why they insist on an application for a professional position. It's one thing if you are hiring a landscaping crew, but quite another if you are seeking a planner, economic developer, city manager, etc. Resumes are the appropriate format for providing credentials, rather than a fill-in-the-blank form that does not reflect experience or qualifications. I tend not to consider jobs that require an application. To me it suggests that the organization is overly bureaucratic and I will not fit in there.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    Another point, somewhat off-topic, is why they insist on an application for a professional position. It's one thing if you are hiring a landscaping crew, but quite another if you are seeking a planner, economic developer, city manager, etc. Resumes are the appropriate format for providing credentials, rather than a fill-in-the-blank form that does not reflect experience or qualifications. I tend not to consider jobs that require an application. To me it suggests that the organization is overly bureaucratic and I will not fit in there.
    To keep this train off the tracks...

    I ran into this recently and found it really frustrating. I was applying for a research analyst position at a local office of a national engineering firm and the only option was to complete their very sparse online application form. There was no option to include a cover letter, work samples, or an actual resume. To make it worse, their online form had some severe limitations on the number of characters and only allowed two previous employers. I submitted my information anyway but also contacted their HR office (which is unfortunately all the way across the country) and was at least able to send some supporting documents via email to some faceless HR drone. The one saving grace may be that somebody from their local office plays on the same softball league as a friend of mine and I was able to send him my information as well and he says he will try to get it to the right people here locally and keep me informed.

    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    I've talked to employers who think of applicants that refuse to give their SS numbers as "people with something to hide." I might actually prefer giving mine since there is another person with my same name living in the same town that I don't want to be confused with.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    How was it "compromised"?

    In any case, I've never had a problem leaving my SSN off a form unless it was for HR purposes.
    In both cases a backup drive with tax ids and SSN was "misplaced" or just out right "stolen." One was found on the side of the road and the other was never recovered. However, I did get a free membership to Debix as a consolation.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally posted by Seabishop View post
    I've talked to employers who think of applicants that refuse to give their SS numbers as "people with something to hide." I might actually prefer giving mine since there is another person with my same name living in the same town that I don't want to be confused with.
    That doesn't sound like a very smart or reasonable employer.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    Thanks for the input everyone, these forums are awesome!

  13. #13
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    That's funny. All this time I never really thought anything of it and have always put my SSN or DL# if requested. Yet at the same time I'm usually so anal about stuff that I shred anything that even just has my name & address on it.

    I guess I just figured that it was going to a safe place and I want the job so bad that I want to fill the form out as completely as possible. But you folks bring up good points about how documents may not be handled as well and HR folks in a certain town may not be as anal as I am about shredding/securing documents. I don't know...I feel like I've filled out so many applications with my SSN or DL#, I might as well continue doing it that way.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
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  14. #14
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    Another point, somewhat off-topic, is why they insist on an application for a professional position. It's one thing if you are hiring a landscaping crew, but quite another if you are seeking a planner, economic developer, city manager, etc. Resumes are the appropriate format for providing credentials, rather than a fill-in-the-blank form that does not reflect experience or qualifications. I tend not to consider jobs that require an application. To me it suggests that the organization is overly bureaucratic and I will not fit in there.

    There are valid reasons for wanting a standard application as well as a resume. One is there is a place where you sign that everything you put down is true. If things go bad, this is important for the employer. Also, the applicant puts what they want on the resume, the application is where the employer lists the information it wants. Most of it is the same, some isn't.

    Quote Originally posted by Seabishop View post
    I've talked to employers who think of applicants that refuse to give their SS numbers as "people with something to hide." I might actually prefer giving mine since there is another person with my same name living in the same town that I don't want to be confused with.
    I wouldn't think you had something to hide,but I may think you are a little paranoid. If it came down to everything else being equal, I'd pick the person who provided the information, especially if someone just left it blank. With an explanation, it may not make much difference.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  15. #15
    I'm a little surprised that some folks would still freely provide their SSN and perhaps a bit moreso that others might reject a candidate as "paranoid" for not providing it. From the IRS web site:

    Be careful with your Social Security card and number
    Show your card to your employer when you start a job so your records are correct. Provide your Social Security number to your financial institution(s) for tax reporting purposes. Keep your card and any other document that shows your Social Security number on it in a safe place. DO NOT routinely carry your card or other documents that display your number.
    You provide your SSN to only your employer and your financial institution. No others.

    Of course, I'm old enough to remember the days when university grades were displayed outside a professor's office by SSN -- the FULL SSN. But once I started my work life and began seeing my SSN seemingly everywhere, I started protesting it. Now, it's not on my insurance card, or my driver's license. I guard my children's SSNs fiercely.

  16. #16
    The more I think about this, the more it seems a little ridiculous. Here's why:

    The pain of not getting a job and not being able to provide for your family outweighs the risk of having your identity stolen because you put your SSN on a prospective employer's form.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    The more I think about this, the more it seems a little ridiculous. Here's why:

    The pain of not getting a job and not being able to provide for your family outweighs the risk of having your identity stolen because you put your SSN on a prospective employer's form.
    In my view, this is another filter for the employer.

    Why is this another filter for the employer?

    I'd much rather have a cautious employee. "Will provide upon request" is perfectly acceptable and shows experience and maturity in my view. I'd much rather hire someone who writes this than leaves it blank or gullibly trusts that I have employees who won't use the info.

  18. #18
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    In my view, this is another filter for the employer.

    Why is this another filter for the employer?

    I'd much rather have a cautious employee. "Will provide upon request" is perfectly acceptable and shows experience and maturity in my view. I'd much rather hire someone who writes this than leaves it blank or gullibly trusts that I have employees who won't use the info.
    After taking part in this thread, I would say that now I would treat applicants equally who filled in the SSN or wrote "Will provide upon request".
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Private sector - my current firm has everyone they hire fill out an application with their SSN, but it's generally post-offer, and the purpose of the application is to get information pulled together in a format that facilitates the background checks that are run on all new hires. I didn't think twice about it...plus, I've had to go through various vetting processes with a few departments and agencies (in order to be cleared to work on their projects), so my SSN and fingerprints are on record in several places with the G. :tinfoilhatsmiley:
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  20. #20
    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    In my view, this is another filter for the employer.

    Why is this another filter for the employer?

    I'd much rather have a cautious employee. "Will provide upon request" is perfectly acceptable and shows experience and maturity in my view. I'd much rather hire someone who writes this than leaves it blank or gullibly trusts that I have employees who won't use the info.
    Really? "Much rather"? Lol. Someone who gives you their SSN could just as well signify a trusting attitude in YOU the employer, rather than distrusting you. Would you rather have an employee who trusted you or not?

    Really, this is complete nonsense. I scoff at the person who really thinks they can derive such meaningful psychological data from that. Give me a break. You're also probably the kind of person to ask such interview questions as--my favorite--"if you were a race car what would you say to your pit team to make you go faster?"

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    'if you were a race car what would you say to your pit team to make you go faster?"
    Finish faster this time and I won't run you over
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  22. #22
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    Really? "Much rather"? Lol. Someone who gives you their SSN could just as well signify a trusting attitude in YOU the employer, rather than distrusting you. Would you rather have an employee who trusted you or not?

    Really, this is complete nonsense. I scoff at the person who really thinks they can derive such meaningful psychological data from that. Give me a break. You're also probably the kind of person to ask such interview questions as--my favorite--"if you were a race car what would you say to your pit team to make you go faster?"
    Whatever pal. Danger phrases for you are "much rather" and "have to wonder"? I have to wonder the strength of your coffee today.

  23. #23
    Moderator note:
    ~Gedunker

    Easy folks. Ad hominem attacks are not permitted and a couple of you are getting close. Don't hack me off to start a long weekend. Okay? Carry on.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    Whatever pal. Danger phrases for you are "much rather" and "have to wonder"? I have to wonder the strength of your coffee today.
    It wasn't about grammar, just the fact that you were so sure that this one detail would give you such a huge boost of insight into someone's character.

    In any case, I've done my yoga for the day, and I am feeling more civil. I'd much rather we all have a great weekend!

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