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An employment verification letter is used to verify that an employee previously worked at a company or is still employed at a certain business.

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What is an Employment Verification Letter? 

An employment verification letter is used to verify that an employee previously worked at a company or is still employed at a certain business. This letter may be used to demonstrate eligibility for certain benefits, to demonstrate experience in a certain field, or to show residency in a certain area.

An employment verification letter will typically list the information for the business or company that employs the party. This includes name, address, location, and phone number. The letter will then state when the employee began working there, what their job title was, and how long they were employed there. An employment verification letter may also include more personal information (upon request) such as the employee’s salary, and number of hours worked per week.

An employer may also include information about the employee’s performance. This can help the employee if they are current looking for employment elsewhere, and can serve to be used as a reference.

Employment Verification Letter vs. Background Check

A background check is intended to verify more personal information than simply who the employee was previously employed by. Background checks verify previous addresses, previous employers, as well as criminal history.

Employment Verification Letter vs. SSN Verification

An employee's social security number is confidential information and should not be included in an employment verification letter. If an employer wishes to verify an employee's personal information, such as his or her social security number, they may contact eVerify, or the Department of Social Security.

Employment Verification Letter vs. References

Employment verification letters and reference letters are two different types of letters, although they are commonly mistaken for one another. Verification letters are more “matter of fact” and take a closer look into the employee’s previous employment and performance. They also may include information such as salary, and hours worked (however, it is important to note that in some states, it is illegal for employers to request your previous salary). Reference letters can be from peers, coworkers or previous employers and are more favorable or opinion driven letters to give the employer a better consensus of the employees character.

Who Needs an Employment Verification Letter?

Employment verification letters come into play in multiple scenarios and many find that verification letters are needed not only when someone is looking for a new job. Here are a few different scenarios when an employment verification letter may be needed:

When Applying For a New Job

This is an obvious one. A new or potential employer may want to see proof that you have the experience and qualifications that you presented when you applied for the job.

When Buying a Home or Renting an Apartment

Sometimes landlords will want to see a potential tenant’s employment verification to ensure that he or she is employed and earns enough income to pay rent every month. When buying a home, many financial institutions will use an employment verification letter to verify your employment, length you’ve been employed with the company, and if possible, salary. This will help the financial institution better assess if you will qualify for the loan amount you are applying for.

How to Request an Employment Verification Letter

An employer verification letter is an important letter, and requesting one also requires a professional approach. Your company many have certain restrictions on releasing employees personal information, so your first step should be to check in with your Human Resources department and give consent for your information to be released to a third party. Some Human Resource offices will compose the letter for you, while others will give you a template to give to your manager.

If your company does not have such policies, you can approach your manager or supervisor directly. To make steps easier for him or her, you can provide a template or sample letter as a guide with the proper information on who to address the letter to and which details need to be included in the letter.  

Components of an Employment Verification Letter

An employment verification letter forms a short, simple document. When building a business, it's a good idea to draw up an employment verification letter template, to help streamline the process when an employee inevitably requests one. Luckily, the process is largely stress-free. An employment verification letter essentially needs to consist of one statement, which can be broken down into the following components.

Employer Contact Information

You'll want to head your letter with your company's name, address, phone number and email address so that the recipient can contact you if necessary.  

Employee Information

Verification: A statement verifying that the employee does indeed work for the company, and the date he or she began working. Something like:  

"Please accept this epistle as legal confirmation that Xavier Kindergarten has been employed with Brussel Sprout Industries, Inc. since March 31st, 1994."

Details of Employment: These can be bullet points. Basically, this part of the employment verification letter should sum up the following:

  • The employee’s name,  and title/position the employee holds at the company, as well as his or her responsibilities
  • The type of employment in question (full-time, part-time, number of hours a week, etc.)
  • Information regarding salary and bonuses

Finally, you’ll want to sign your name at the bottom of the letter.

It’s important to remember to keep an employment verification letter concise. Employment letters should not be lengthy documents and should not contain information beyond what the employee requests. Additional information about what not to include in an employment verification letter are listed below.

What NOT to Include In a Proof of Employment Letter

As an employer it's important to limit your liability and only provide the information that your employee requests. In the instance that your employee requests a verification form that reveals his or her salary, be sure to have them sign a release form that grants you consent to reveal personal information such as salary and pay, and save their consent form for your records.

Additionally, do not provide:

  • The financial information of the employee (unless specifically requested by the employee)
  • Protected information, such as marital status or health information
  • Personal information such as previous legal trouble or failed drug tests
  • Reasons why you would not advise them to hire this employee, such as poor performance or tardiness. Remember this is an employment verification letter, not a job recommendation letter.

The Ultimate Guide to Finding a New Job

By FormSwift Editorial Team
July 30, 2018

While EVLs have a variety of uses, we focus here on their applicability for those considering or actively seeking a new job. We cover how to approach finding a new job, how to handle your social media profiles while doing so, how to search for new jobs without alerting your current employer, how to optimize your resume, and much more! We hope this guide helps you navigate the complex process of finding a new gig.

Standing out: seeking a new job and separating yourself from the competition

These days, workers are switching jobs more often and at a faster pace than generations prior. This is especially true for millennials. One 2014 survey found that the average job tenure is now only 4.6 years. Therefore, if you are considering a new job and want to make sure you can compete for those of your choosing, it is imperative you stand out from your competition. Here are some steps for doing so:

  1. Take stock before taking action
    1. How happy are you in your current job? You should track your likes and dislikes in your current role and company over a period of time in order to develop a reliable assessment of your attitude about your current job.
  2. Assess pros and cons of your current job
    1. Once you have an idea of the pros and cons of your current role, assess your list of cons. Does that list deal more with corporate culture or individual aspects of your role? If its role related, perhaps another position within your current company is worth considering. For example, do you feel stuck or overqualified for your current role? Are there still more opportunities within the company that can help you grow as a professional? If, however, you’re displeasures stem from corporate culture and environment, perhaps it is best to look elsewhere.
  3. Determine your interests
    1. If you decide it is time for you to move on, it is imperative you make a game plan about your next move. This begins by assessing your interests, values, and skill set. Start by asking yourself questions like: in what roles have you had the most success? What are the core values you require in any future company?
  4. Consider alternatives
    1. You should also consider alternatives to your current career and seek out job openings that will give you a better idea of opportunities in other fields. Be sure to do your due diligence in researching these other fields, which includes reaching out to your contacts in those sectors for informational discussions about those fields and positions. You can also “test-drive” positions in related fields through things like a job shadow, volunteer work, freelance work, or educational classes.
  5. Upgrade your skills with additional training/education
    1. Is there additional training or educational opportunity that will enhance your opportunities in current or alternative fields? If so, the point at which your considering changing jobs is a good time to consider additional training or education.

Make a game plan for career goals

Many workers have a good idea of the job they want. However, few people take the time to actually chart a course from where they are to where they want to go.

A good game plan should break your career goals into a series of steps, with an ambitious, but reasonable timeline for each step. When applied to finding a new job, this can look like this:

  • Finish updating your resume by x date
  • Send resume to x number of companies per month

You should also discuss goals with friends, family, colleagues and mentors whose input you value. Their feedback will prove essential; they can also leverage their own contacts to help you get where you want to go.

Lastly, be sensible with finances and create a plan based on what you can actually afford to invest in yourself when it comes to additional training, classes, or other education.

How to job hunt while employed elsewhere

Looking for a new job while employed elsewhere can be tricky. On the one hand, you want to reach as many potential employers as possible. On the other, you may want to keep your search from your current employer. Here are our recommendations for navigating that process:

  • Keep you social media profiles current: this will help you avoid suspicion from current colleagues while also making sure your best foot is always forward on social media. If, for example, you rarely update your Linkedin page and then suddenly makeover your whole profile, you may tip off your manager to your search. Furthermore, Linkedin also offers an option that allows you to show people outside of your company that you are open to new prospects while not showing this information to current co-workers.
  • Network Cautiously: as you probably already know, many industries are actually smaller than many people imagine. Information, therefore, has a way of traveling quickly. Taking a cautious approach to networking when seeking new employment will help ensure you do not alert anyone you currently work for.
  • Tell your boss first: if and when you decide to share that you are looking is entirely up to you. However, if that time comes, we recommend you tell your boss first. This will make sure they hear this information from you, rather than someone else which could offend them. Even if you trust your coworkers, do not tell them you are looking for a new job before you have told your superior.
  • Find your new job on your own time: search for your new job on your own time and own equipment; DO NOT use company time or your company computer to search. Don’t bad-mouth your current employer: even if you are unhappy where you are, do not criticize your current employer or boss. The people interviewing you are trying to find someone to bring into their corporate family. Someone who speaks poorly about co-workers is unlikely to interest a hiring committee.
  • Inform any prospective employer that you require confidentiality: explain to any potential employer that you would like your interest to be kept secret. Companies should have no issue accommodating this request.
  • Remain a professional: stay focused on your current job, even if you are looking for a new one. This is for many reasons. First, if your search proves fruitless, you need to make sure your current job is safe. Second, you do not know what the future holds; you may find yourself trying to work with or for some of your former colleagues down the road. Lastly, your professional reputation matters, to you perhaps most of all. The reason you are competitive for better opportunities is likely because you are professional and work hard. Those are admirable qualities you should always model, regardless of your job or happiness in it.

A 2015 study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 57% of companies hire from Linkedin, 19% from Facebook, and 8% from Twitter. In total, 65% of companies use social media in the hiring process. The study also found that 44% of job candidates post inappropriately on social media (alcohol or drug related content).

The takeaway is this: you need to be careful and closely monitor your social media posts, all of them!

You should also assume that any company you apply to will check your social media profiles. Therefore, consider making your profile private, or use a pseudonym so you are not easily searchable.

Personal Branding: just because managers are likely to consult your social media profiles does not mean you should not have a social media footprint. Sure, you want to make sure there is nothing unprofessional online, or anything else that may deter a potential employer, but social media is also an opportunity. Take the fact that potential employers are going to search your profiles as a chance to communicate (directly and indirectly) that you are a desirable candidate that will fit well into any corporate culture.

Resume Tips

Crafting a resume is a difficult process. While there is much to consider when doing so, here are some of our essential tips:

  1. Use the right buzzwords: a Linkedin study found the most commonly used buzzwords that are totally ineffective in separating your profile from the pack. You should avoid using the words in this list when updating your resume or writing a cover letter.
    • Motivated
    • Passionate
    • Creative
    • Driven
    • Extensive experience
    • Responsible
    • Strategic
    • Track record
    • Organization
    • Expert
  2. Find the right references: create a list from which you can pull the best possible references for a position. You should have around 8 potential references who can speak to your work performance from different perspectives (peers, managers, clients, etc.), both in your current organization as well as in others.
    • Do not wait until you are applying for a new job to cultivate these relationships. That process should be ongoing.
    • Your references should validate the strengths and qualities you highlight in job interviews.
    • Handling references
      • Always ask if you can submit someone’s name as a reference before doing it. You do not want anyone receive an unexpected phone call.
      • Supply all references with an up-to-date copy of your resume
      • Inform your references of the qualities you intend to highlight in an interview and ask if they feel comfortable doing the same.
      • Ask references if they are comfortable with you following up to review the reference check so you can get a better understanding of any potential concerns the employer has.
  3. Making up for experience you do not have: A lack of experience is one of the most common concerns workers have when crafting their resume. There are good and bad ways to deal with this situation. A common mistake workers make here is to highlight their lack of experience on a resume or cover letter.
    • For example: “despite my lack of experience…” This is a bad idea. By doing so, you are essentially admitting you do not believe you are qualified for the job you are applying to. Instead, you should highlight the skills and abilities you possess that you believe will enable you to perform the role in an exceptional manner. 

Honesty and resumes

A recent study by AuthBridge found that misrepresentation in CV by job applicants grew by 48% between 2016 and 2017. This means that dishonesty on resumes is on the rise.

Why do people do it?

Increased competition in an increasingly dynamic job market is certainly a key driver of the dishonesty trend. The internet has also made it easier to acquire job related information to make deceit more convincing.

Why you should avoid it

Aside from the obvious ethical concerns, employers are constantly improving their background check process. If you fail to mention employment gaps or otherwise falsely represent your employment history and are caught, your job prospects and employment opportunities in the future will be seriously damaged. Furthermore, if you furnish any forged documents you may face legal repercussions.

Common resume verification procedures

  • For high-level senior employees, resume details typically face more scrutiny because of the greater financial obligation associated with such hires.
  • For mid-level employees, previous employment and education will be verified, at minimum.
  • For junior employees, your address, background history, and previous employment are all checked.

There are also many variations to these rules. For example, in cases where specific skill sets or work experience determine salary, or in situations where new positions include access to sensitive information, additional verification in relevant areas is to be expected.

Interviews

Interviews are a multi-faceted process that requires a dynamic set of skills and behaviors. For our purposes here, we’d like to focus on how to handle one very common question: why are you leaving your current job?

There are good and bad answers to this question. Handling this inquiry, therefore, requires thought and sophistication. You should therefore determine how you are going to answer this question in advance, as potential employers will almost surely ask it in an interview.

Good reasons to give

  • I want a career change or career growth that is not possible or unlikely in my current role and company.
  • I am ready for a change in company or industry
  • Company cutbacks, downsizing, or restructuring have undermined my job security or attitude about the company’s future.
  • The new position in question is a dream job
  • Family circumstances, illness, or related reasons require a change.
  • Seeking a more flexible schedule
  • You plan to go back to school
  • Your current position is not a great fit
  • Your current position is being outsourced
  • You are looking for a new challenge
  • You are seeking more responsibility

Bad reasons to give

  • You fear (or know) you are about to get fired
  • You were recently arrested and expect to be fired shortly
  • You do not get along with coworkers and/or superiors
  • You hate your boss and/or job

Talkin’ Salary

If you’re lucky, a new job will also come with an increase in salary. That said, there are good and bad ways to broach that conversation with potential employers. In general, do not lie about your current or past salary. Some companies will verify your previous salary by requesting a recent pay stub or W2, or by checking directly with your past employer. As we covered above, lying is a bad idea. Moreover, the “salary talk” usually occurs after a new company extends you an offer. Lying about salary makes it possible they will rescind the offer.

If you are worried that your current salary will inhibit your ability to negotiate for the money you seek and deserve, you are better off declining to discuss previous salary or pointing out that your salary in a different industry does not translate to this new industry. Doing so will help you direct the focus to current salary negotiations.

In Conclusion

As you can see, searching for a new job is a complicated endeavor. You have to make sure your social media profiles are in order, your resume updated, and your interview skills honed all while trying to keep your current employer in the dark about your search. We hope this guide provides useful advice and skills to help you navigate the process.

Easiest and Hardest States to Find a Job

July 30, 2018

Infographic of easiest and hardest US states to find a job in 2018.

Methodology

Our team wanted to determine the easiest and most difficult states in the US to find a job. We created a ranking by evenly weighting the following factors into a final score out of 100: unemployment rate, median wage, and labor force growth (2014-2017). We then determined the most common job in each state, and the salary of that job in the most populous city of that state.

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