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As an employer, there’s a good chance your current or former employees will ask you to write an employment verification letter. There are several reasons that they might need this letter, including future employment, getting a loan or renting an apartment.
Employment verification letters aren’t too challenging to write (sites like ZipRecruiter even have templates), but there are a few things to consider if you need to write one. Read on to learn how to write an excellent employment verification letter.
What is an employment verification letter?
While every employer does what they can to retain their employees, employees will inevitably leave their companies for one reason or another. When an employee decides to pursue a different line of work, there is a good chance they will ask you for an employment verification letter.
Employment verification letters serve as proof of employment at a specific company or organization. You can use these letters to verify:
There are many reasons why a former or current employee may need an employment verification letter. If the employee is applying for a position with a new employer, they can use this letter to verify that the work experience listed on their resume is correct. While new employers can also inquire about a candidate’s past work experience via phone or email, an employment verification letter is quick and easy.
Employees and former employees use employment verification letters for more than new jobs. People use these letters to apply for new loans or adjust their old loans' terms. A landlord that is renting a house or apartment may also ask to see proof of employment before allowing a new tenant to stay on their property.
How to write an employment verification letter
When an employee asks you to write an employment verification letter, it’s essential to consider the position of the person that you’re writing the letter for. People often request employment verification letters for very important situations. The employee may need this letter in order to get approved for a loan that will allow them to buy a house or a car, rent a new apartment or start a new job. It’s important to take this letter seriously.
The employment verification letter should be professional and concise. You should type the letter and make sure to print it out on paper with your company letterhead. Do not write the letter by hand.
There is also a chance that your HR department or the employee will write the letter for you. If you get a prewritten letter, you’ll need to make sure that the information is correct. By signing the letter, you are verifying that everything is accurate and that you take responsibility for it. You should write the letter in business letter format, include all of the requested information, proofread the letter to ensure it is error-free and, in many cases, utilize an employment letter sample letter as a reference.
Write in business letter format
Using a business letter format is crucial as it will present your company and message in a formal and polished style. Because you write employment verification letters for professionals of other companies, organizations and agencies to read, the letter's organization and format will reflect on your company.
Business letter format includes your contact details, the date and the recipient’s contact information at the top of the page above the content of your letter. Be sure to include a formal salutation and closing. The closing should contain space for you to sign your name by hand above your printed name and title.
Besides employment verification letters, other formal letters also use business letter format. Some of these letters include:
- Sales letters
- Resignation letters
- Letters of intent
- Shareholder letters
- Letters of recommendation
- Job offer letters
It’s a good idea to confirm with the employee requesting the letter whether the letter needs to be printed out, as there are instances where an email is sufficient.
Information to include
Employee verification letters can differ depending on your employee's needs. The employee should be upfront about the specific details that they need from you in the letter and whether it includes anything out of the ordinary. Often, your employee will include the necessary details in their request. The request should also include the exact address of the company or organization you'll need to send this letter.
Depending on the employee's request, employment verification letters may include any or all of the following information:
- Your company address
- Name of the company or organization requesting the letter
- Address of the company or organization requesting the letter
- Employee's name
- Employee's department
- Employee's job title
- Employee's job description
- Employee’s employment dates
- Total period of employment
- Annual salary
- Frequency of payments
- Weekly work hours
- Reason for termination
It's also a good idea to include a final sentence acknowledging that the recipient can contact you if they have any questions about the information presented in the letter.
Employment verification letters are not letters of recommendation. You can keep the letter short and concise without providing details about the employee's work performance. These letters are usually under 100 words. In general, only include the information requested by the employee.
Proofreading the employment verification letter you’ve written is essential for multiple reasons. First, you must make sure that the information included in the letter is accurate. You are the authority on this subject; whoever reads this letter will take anything in it as fact. Carefully go over each bit of information individually to ensure everything is correct.
Your letter is also a reflection on you and your organization. The letter will include your company’s letterhead, so any mistakes in the letter may hurt your organization’s credibility and reputation. Mistakes also draw attention away from the focus of the letter.
If you don’t feel comfortable proofreading your own work and you don’t have anyone capable of editing in your organization, you can outsource your proofreading to a contractor online. You can also use proofreading software.
Sample employment verification letter
A simple online search will yield hundreds of results for sample employment verification letters to ensure your letter checks all of the boxes your employee needs and comes across professionally. You can use one of the samples below to structure your own letter or download a template and fill in the holes with information relevant to your employee.
Here is a simple employment verification letter template that you can use to get started:
Company or Organization Name
Company or Organization’s Address
Name of Recipient
Recipient’s Company or Organization
Dear (recipient or recipient’s title),
This letter verifies that (employee) was employed at (company) from (start date) to (end date).
Employee Name: (employee)
Job title: (title)
Annual salary: (salary)
For further inquiries, please don’t hesitate to contact me at (phone number or email).
Reasons why employees request employment verification letters
There are a number of reasons why someone may want to request an employment verification letter, regardless of their employment status. The main reasons that employees will need you to write a letter for them include:
- Seeking a job opportunity and the prospective employer needs to verify their employment history
- Applying to rent a property and the landlord needs to verify that the potential tenant can make their monthly payments
- Applying for a mortgage or auto loan and the lender needs to verify that the tenant can make their monthly payments
- Requesting a loan payment reduction or deferral and the financial institution needs to verify proof of income
The reasons an employee needs an employment verification letter may differ depending on if the employee is a former, current or future employee.
If you are the current employer of someone that requests an employment verification letter, it doesn’t necessarily mean that that employee is planning to leave your organization and is applying for positions at other companies. There are many reasons that someone might need a letter, and they may be responding to the request of a collection agency, landlord, lender, financial institution or government agency.
Employees who no longer work for your companies may contact you, asking for an employment confirmation letter to be sent to a company they are applying for. This letter can act as a simple proof of their previous experience or verify that their position matches what they wrote on their resume.
Former employees can also use employment verification letters to prove previous salaries. When negotiating the terms of a position, the new company’s HR department will often want more than just the employee’s word about how much they were paid at their previous job.
Finding suitable candidates for the open positions at your company is never easy. You can use the best recruiting software and learn how to create a better career page to boost your online presence. You may even invest in an Applicant Tracking System, a type of software that assists with your recruiting and hiring process, or research the best job posting sites for employers, such as ZipRecruiter, (which lets you post on 100+ job boards easily and quickly). No matter how much time and effort you put into your recruitment process, you’ll want to make sure that your candidates can prove their past employment.
Just as you’ll need to write out employment verification letters to confirm that former employers worked for you, other companies will do the same for your applicants. Having access to proof of a candidate’s work experience will make your recruiting and hiring process go more smoothly and ensure that you end up with a new hire that possesses the experience necessary to fill your open position.
Are employment verification letters legally required?
In some cases, certain organizations require employment verification letters. For example, the government may need to verify how much an individual makes to determine how much of their wage should be garnished or for immigration purposes. Lenders and insurance providers often require proof of employment and proof of income letters before agreeing to extend their service.
While not required by law, most employers prefer employment verification letters from applicants for a new position. When an organization puts the effort and time in to find great candidates, an employment verification letter is a surefire way to quickly confirm that the candidate is being honest with the information on their resume. In fact, you may even use an employment verification letter to determine your new hire when choosing between two great candidates.
Summary of Money’s how to write an employment verification letter
As a business owner, there will likely come a time when you will need to write out an employment verification letter. By writing in a business letter format, including the relevant, requested information, proofreading and using an employment letter sample if needed, you won’t have a problem writing the letter. Remember to write a concise and professional letter to assist your current or former employee and represent your company in the best light possible.