SF-85 Employment Verification/References


I need to fill out the eQIP SF-85 form for non-sensitive positions (NOT the SF-85p for a public trust position). My question is this...in the last 5 years, I have had about 10 jobs, 5 or 6 of which I quit abruptly (was NEVER fired, only resigned voluntarily with no notice). Will the government just verify that i worked at these places, or will they actually ask supervisors to evaluate my performance? Some of these jobs I was only at for a matter of days or weeks. I have bipolar disorder, which caused me great anxiety and resulted in me quitting impulsively under stress. I have been doing much better lately, but do not want this to "haunt" me. So if anyone could tell me how this process works, I would really appreciate it. I have NO other issues (no debts, criminal or drug history, etc.). Thanks!


There may be an issue if you were required to give notice before quitting. If so the employer may have made you ineligible for rehire because you violated company policy. Technically you do not have to disclose them, but if I were you I would provide clarification that you did quit these jobs without notice just in case it comes up in the background investigation.


Marko, thank you for your reply. I live in an at-will employment state, meaning that we are never required to give notice...however, the company still could mark me as ineligible for rehire. That is at management's discretion. My question is, what do you mean when you say, "Technically you do not have to disclose them?" Does that mean I do not have to disclose the jobs because I was there so briefly and was not fired? Thanks for any clarification you can provide.


On the SF85 you must list all employment for the time period, whether paid, part time, or volunteer work. On the additional OF-306 from you are asked if in the last 5 years you were terminated from employment for any reason, etc... That is where you should clarify the circumstances.


@Marko can you clarify where the form says you must report volunteer work? I’m filling out the SF85 for the first time now and box 10 seems pretty clear it’s only paid employment activities. In fact the only ‘catch-all’ in the instruction appears to be “other paid work”. Why would I (or others) include volunteer work on the SF85?

(I’ll note my reply to your comment is coming 4 years later, so maybe things have changed!)


On the SF-85 it does not specifically ask for volunteer work as it does the SF-86, so no requirement to include, but if it is a major activity that people you know are aware of it does not hurt to list it.


That makes sense. In light of your answer (thanks btw!), since it’s listed on my resume and relevant to my hiring I’m certainly going to include it. Now my question is should I list it in the provided boxes, or explanation below? A little more detail: it was a friend’s startup that we bootstrapped but never launched (hence I was never paid at all, even with equity). It doesn’t exist any more, and it was out of the proverbial ‘garage’ so there’s really no one to contact.

Thanks again!


That’s not “volunteer” work . . . You were involved in a start up business and would have made money if the business had survived. You were not working at an animal shelter . . .


Thanks for your help. I guess “volunteer” isn’t the right word; I think I got tripped up reading the prior comments and b/c my role didn’t fit neatly into the form anywhere. After reading responses here and around the site, it seems this should be included just as any other job, perhaps with an explanation that it was unpaid. Let me know if you think this is incorrect, and thanks again!