Employment Verification

How to Confirm a Candidate's History and Respond to Verification Requests

Employment Verification Letter
Learn how to verify an applicant's employment history with this guide, along with free sample letters and tips on getting a proof of employment letters.

Last updated January 19th, 2018

Employment verification confirms a person's past or current job status. Employers often need to request verification for job candidates and reply to requests from employers, lenders, landlords, the federal government, and others.

Employment Verification Letter
Download a Sample Employment Verification Letter - Word:

Download a free employment verification letter template in Word format.

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Employment Verification Letter Sample:

[List their contact information and the date]

Sir/Madam:

[Insert applicant name] has applied for employment with [insert company name], and [he/she] listed your company as part of their employment history. We respectfully request your assistance verifying some of the details that were provided on [insert applicant name]’s resume.

  1. What dates did [insert applicant name] work for your company?
  2. What [is/was] their job title?
  3. What [is/was] their annual salary?
  4. Would you rehire [insert applicant name]?
  5. Did [insert applicant name] adhere to company policies?
  6. Is there any other information you can provide about [insert applicant name]'s job performance?
  7. If [he/she] is currently employed by your company, has [he/she] turned in a resignation letter?

Thank you in advance for a prompt response! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

[List your name, title and contact information]

What Is an Employment Verification Letter?
What Is An Employment Verification Letter

An employment verification letter, also called a letter of employment or proof of employment letter, is used to confirm a person's employment dates, salary, and job title. Similar letters are also used by lenders and other entities.

Addition to the employment verification sample.

Some companies won’t release information without a signed consent form from their current or former employee. You can add this to the employment verification letter template.

Under the first paragraph and before the list of employment verification questions in the employment letter sample, simply insert the following sentence:

"[Insert handwritten name] hereby gives permission for this information to be shared."

Include a spot for the applicant to sign and date the form underneath this statement. It’s best to have them handwrite their own name as well.

If you will be emailing copies of the employment verification letter to their current or previous employers, you’ll only need them to fill out one form. Getting this paperwork signed by each candidate should be part of the in-person application and interview process.

How to Reply to an Employment Verification Request:

Knowing how to get the information you need from other employers is just as important as knowing how to respond to a request for a letter of employment verification.

1. Know your company's policy.

Do they allow you to fill out a form that’s been faxed or mailed over, or do you need to respond with your own form letter? Are you allowed to reply at all? Are there certain things you’re not allowed to say?

Know before you answer.

2. Stick to facts, don't give opinions.

If you’re able to fill out the form you receive, give information that is verifiable. No opinions should be provided on the form.

This may seem unfair if you’ve chosen to ask for opinions on your employment verification letter template. However, it’s imperative that you don’t get yourself or your company into any legal trouble with your answers.

3. Don't send documentation.

No matter what, never provide another company with documentation, such as a copy of the employee’s personnel records or termination letter. Doing this could easily lead to a lawsuit.

Employment Verification FAQs:

Why Should I Consider Employment History Verification?

First off, a surprising number of applicants lie. Second, you'll get a more accurate employment timeline. Finally, in general it'll give a more solid basis for hiring decisions.

Do you have any tips for getting responses to an employment verification letter?

Although it’s truly in everyone’s best interests to comply with employment letter verification requests, you may run into a company that refuses to provide them.

Legally, no business has to reply to these requests unless they come from a state or federal government agency. This makes it trickier to get the information you need, but not impossible.

Being polite and aware of what companies can legally divulge is a big part of getting a human resources department to provide an employment verification letter for a current or previous employee.

The law is clear that everything divulged in these verification letters must be truthful.

As a result, many businesses protect themselves by only listing easily verifiable details, such as the person’s annual salary and dates of employment.

You can ask further questions about the applicant’s job performance and whether or not they were fired, but don’t expect to get an answer that provides any details. For example, a popular question to ask is, “Would you hire this person again?”

A common answer is “if qualified.” You’ll notice this doesn’t actually say yes or no.

And they may be unqualified if they were fired, if they were a bad employee, if they lied on their resume, if they turned in an extremely negative resignation letter, etc. In other words, this is a non-answer many human resources departments use that helps prevent legal issues.

If you want to try to get more in-depth answers, you could reach out to local businesses in the same industry to create a cooperative environment.

Of course, you’d need to be willing to fill out every employment verification letter that crosses your desk, but it might be worth it to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you’ll receive the same courtesy in return.

How do I verify contact information for previous employers?

Rather than rely on information the candidate supplies, get in contact with the company human resources department directly and ask them who you should talk to that can verify the candidate's employment information. This ensures you're talking to the right person.

What is a Verification of Employment?
What Is A Verification Of Employment

Although the terms verification of employment, employment verification letter, and proof of employment are sometimes used interchangeably, a verification of employment, or VOE, generally refers to an entity such as a lender or government asking for employment information, versus another employer.

Verification of Employment Requests from Lenders:

Employers can expect to receive two types of standardized employment verification from lenders, written verification and verbal verification.

The written verification of employment is done with employers when a current or previous employee applies for a loan. It is done for all employers where the applicant held a job within two years of the loan application. It checks employment dates, status, title and salary history.

The verbal verification of employment is done with current employers just before the loan is funded to ensure employment status hasn't changed.

Employers are not required by law to respond to these requests, but most choose to.

Some employers require that employees give permission to respond to these requests. Generally, employers do not face any legal issues if they respond truthfully and in good faith.

Verification of employment requests from landlords, collection agencies, and others.

Employers may also receive verification of employment requests from landlords and collection agencies. They are free to ignore these.

If you think the employee may want you to respond, as in the case of a landlord verifying employment before deciding to offer a rental, it may be best to seek written permission from the employee first.

Verification of employment request from the government.

Employers may be required to respond to verification requests from government agencies. When this is the case, the agency will often provide information on the law that requires your response. One of the more common requests is for H1B verification.

Employment verification for H1B employees.

If your company has employed someone with an H1B visa, it may be required to provide employment verification to the federal government.

Here’s a sample of an employment verification letter for an H1B employee.

Template for the H1B employment letter:

[Insert applicable government contact information and date]

Sir/Madam:

This letter certifies that [insert name] is employed at [insert company name] and holds the position of [insert position]. His/her current gross salary is [insert salary] USD per year/month/week. He/she is a [insert full or part]-time employee.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to call our human resources department at [insert number].

Sincerely,

[Signature]

[Insert name and contact information]

Final Thoughts.

Ultimately, you need to verify employment properly the first time. If you fail to follow up on the information in a candidate’s application and they end up causing damage to your company, you’ll have yourself to blame.

Always double-check employment history and references by using employee verification letter or other applicable letter template, and never provide anything other than basic facts when it’s your turn to fill out an employment verification letter or employee reference letter.