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How to Write Employment Verification Letters (samples + templates)

Sometimes, it’s useful to go beyond the word of person to learn about their work history. Employment verification letters are documents provided by a current or former employer that list an individual’s work details. This information can be used for everything from qualifying for future employment to determining social service eligibility. Learn the best way to send a request and how to fill out a request for verification of employment that you may receive.

How to Request an Employment Verification Letter

It’s common for a potential new employer to verify information written on a resume, and the employment verification letter can do this. First, get the written permission of the applicant to send out a letter. You will then need the contact information for the past employer, along with a list of questions to ask in the letter.

While you’re free to customize these to your needs, some questions are not appropriate to ask. Stick to inquiries that would be clearly documented with the past employer’s human resources or payroll department, and don’t ask for any information that would violate equal opportunity labor laws. Questions that may appear discriminatory should be avoided.

Draft the business letter on company letterhead or through the company email system. Be professional and don’t over-explain why you need the information. Human resource departments are accustomed to getting these letters and won’t need to hear all the backstory to your request. End the letter with your position at the company and contact information.

What is Included in an Employment Verification Letter?

In addition to the contact information included above, the questions need to be clearly presented. Common questions provide information related to proof of employment such as the dates of employment, job description, pay rate, and work performance, including whether a person was terminated or if they resigned. If you send a physical letter request, be sure to include a postage-paid envelope so the past employer can respond even more easily.

Why Would an Employee Need an Employment Verification Letter?

Hiring managers often request these as part of the vetting process, but there are other reasons they may be sent. Lenders may need documentation of employment as part of loan applications, and social services may confirm work before issuing benefits, like supplemental nutritional assistance (SNAP) or housing assistance. The state unemployment office could follow up for more details when processing an unemployment claim, and work visa programs often depend on the information in proof of employment letters.

Employment Verification Template

These letters are a common part of hiring, so there’s no need to start from scratch. These sample letters are templates that can be customized to your current processes.

For Current Employees – Employee Letter Template

If the candidate still works for the company you’re contacting, be tactful and direct by using this current employment verification letter sample.

Dear Ms. Smith,

(Insert applicant name) listed your organization in their employment history, and we would like to verify the following information as part of our employment process.  We appreciate your cooperation in providing answers to the following questions:

  1. What job title does the employee currently hold?
  2. What is their annual pay?
  3. What was their start date with your organization?
  4. Has the employee notified you of their resignation?

Any additional relevant information, specific to the employee’s work performance and skills, would be valuable to us as well. Please contact me with any questions regarding this request.

With gratitude,

(Name, title, and contact information of requester)

This letter may be the first the company knows of their employee pursuing opportunities, which means it could have adverse effects on the worker’s career there. Only send this letter if you are serious about hiring the applicant.

For Former Employees – Employee Letter Template

If the worker no longer holds a position at the company you are contacting, you can tweak the sample employment verification letter slightly to reflect that.

Dear Ms. Smith,

(Insert applicant name) listed your organization in their employment history, and we would like to verify the following information as part of our employment process. We appreciate your cooperation in providing answers to the following questions:

  1. What job title did the employee currently hold?
  2. What was their annual pay?
  3. What were their start and end dates with your organization?
  4. Did the employee resign, or were they terminated?

Any additional relevant information, specific to the employee’s work performance and skills, would be valuable to us as well. Please contact me with any questions regarding this request.

With gratitude,

(Name, title, and contact information of requester)

For Work Visa Holders – Employee Letter Template

There may come a time when you get a request for verification regarding the status of an immigrant worker who you employ. To make sure you respond appropriately, you can use this sample employment verification letter for visa programs, such as the H1B.

Dear requestor,

Please accept this letter as certification that (name) is employed (full-time/part-time) at (company name) as a (position title) at the rate of (salary) per (month/week).

You may contact me directly with requests for additional information.

Sincerely,

(Name, title, and contact information)

How to Respond to an Employment Verification Letter Request

If this is your first time filling one out, for example via a verification form, ask what your corporate policy is regarding the letter. In the case of government requests, the questions are standard inquiries regulated by law, and you should fill them out to the best of your ability. Do not send copies of paystubs, personnel files, or additional documents to support your information, as these could run afoul of privacy laws. Address the letter to whom it may concern and include your contact information, such as your phone number, in case questions arise.

FAQs

Do you still have questions about this letter? These commonly asked questions and answers can help.

Can a Previous Employer Deny an Employment Verification Letter?

If the request is from a government agency, you must comply with the verification request. If you are being contacted by a potential employer’s Human Resource department, it is up to your corporate policy whether to reply.

When Must an Employer Respond to Verification of Employment?

When the request is made as part of official communication from the government, you must reply. Simply ignoring the request will not make it go away, and various laws regarding state and federal programs require employers to cooperate with information verifications.

 

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Barry Lenson

Barry Lenson

Barry Lenson has spent more than 25 years writing blogs, website copy, and books on business, education, healthcare, and the arts. He has written and co-authored more than a dozen books, including the Amazon.com bestseller Good Stress, Bad Stress. Barry earned degrees from McGill and Yale.

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