“Employer name” meaning: How to fill it out on a job application

Employing for a job can be challenging. Sometimes, you just need to fill in your CV and send it. But other times, you will need to fill out a whole application.

There will be some terms that some of you might not be so familiar with, today, I want to focus on “Employer Name”.

“Employer Name” meaning:

The meaning of “Employer Name” on a job application is that you must write the name of your previous employer. It is important to write the name of the company and not the name of your boss. 

If you were employed by a company owned by another company, for example, Fanta, who is owned by Coca-Cola. Whether you put “Fanta” or “The Coca-Cola Company” will be up to you.

How to fill out “Employer Name”

When you have a job, you are not working for your boss personally, you are working for the company they run. The only exception to this would be if they were to employ you to take care of matters around the house.

If you work for a guy called John Smith at Smith’s Accountancy, your previous employer name would be “Smith’s Accountancy”, not “John Smith”.

The “boss” is likely someone you will never meet for larger companies, someone at head office.

How to fill out “Employer Name” when talking about self employment

Perhaps in the past, you worked for yourself. Even if running your own business didn’t work out, putting it onto your CV shows several skills that many employers like in people. So don’t exclude self-employment from your employment history.

Most of the time, under “Employer Name”, you would write “Self-Employed”. But if you worked freelance, you could say “Freelance” or “Multiple Employers”.

Working for yourself shows that you have self-discipline, you’re a hard worker, and you can do admin tasks such as accounting.

However, I understand this section won’t apply to everyone, but it’s still good to know.

How to fill out “Employer Name” if this is your first job

If the job you’re applying for will be your first one, be sure you’re not wasting your time! If your new job insists on seeing previous experience, that’s generally a sign you need it.

It could be worth searching for “entry level” work to find the kind of jobs you would be suited for.

But don’t be thinking that only paid work counts as work. Voluntary work is just as good!

Whether you’ve helped coach football, helped pick up litter, or helped in a soup kitchen, talking about your voluntary work is just as good as work.

Why people ask for your “Employer Name”

When an employer puts out a job ad, most of the time, they’re trying to find the best people they can. Listing your previous employers shows them that you know this industry, and you will be able to cope with the day to day workings of the industry.

It could also be a way for them to contact your previous employers to talk to your old bosses about what you’re like as a person. From this conversation, they will see if you have what it takes to work for them.

Most jobs will ask you to talk about previous experience.

How to talk about previous work experience in an application

Of course, your new employer will want to know more about your old employer than just their name.

They will want to know when you worked for them. Why you left. How much you got paid. What your role was.

When talking about your role, try and focus on achievements rather than duties.

Which sounds better…

“It was my job to clean the kitchen” or “I was in charge of kitchen hygiene maintenance. As a result of my work, the company achieved an 5 Star rating from the Health Board”?

Don’t just say what you did, say what you got out of it.

When to not say your “Employer Name”

The rule for what you tell your employers is “The truth, nothing but the truth… but not always the whole truth”.

There will be times it’s best to leave out certain employer names.

The most obvious one is the people who fired you. I’m not here to pass judgement, but your potential employer is! Even if the firing was not your fault, you don’t need to tell your new employer.

You should also exclude employers who you didn’t leave on the best of terms with. If you stormed out one day yelling “To hell with your job! I quit!”, best to keep that quiet.

Why knowing how to fill out an application is more important than before

Of course, knowing how to fill out an application has always been important. But right now, more so than before.

Because of the lockdowns, caused by Covid, starting a business has become more challenging. There are now more people looking for work, and less work to go around. The market is now more competitive, and it’s essential to stand out from the crowd.

Whether you’re a newbie or the best in the business, knowing how to fill out an application will give you the edge over people with the same experience level.

Why some employers won’t ask for “Employer Name”

There will be some employers who won’t ask for your previous employers. For them, things like work ethic, and perhaps academic qualifications will be more important than experience.

Often, an employer will think “I can teach things such as how to clean, how to deliver food, how to write in this way, etc. However, I cannot teach smiling, politeness, and work ethic, so I will hire people who already have what I can’t teach”.

There will also be employers who will want to know about your previous experience but won’t be too bothered about your previous employers’ names. To them, what you done matters more than who you done it for.


“Employer Name” is, believe it or not, the name of your previous employer. It’s a way for your new employer to take a look at what you’ve achieved so far, to help them make the decision about whether they want to hire you.

Whether it was working for another company, being self-employed, freelance work, or just voluntary work, a lot (but not all) employers like to see that you have some experience.

Because of the state of the pre-lockdown economy, knowing how to apply for a job is more important than ever.