How to get proof of employment
You may think your LinkedIn profile will suffice, but most third-party lenders, landlords, or other organizations seeking to verify your current role will want far more information in verifying your employment. The best method for proving your employment depends upon the information required by the party requesting verification, so it’s crucial to confirm the details they’re seeking when preparing your submission.
Reasons for needing proof of employment
Several scenarios exist where a third party may want to verify your employment. Since many of these requests are time-critical—that is, under a strict deadline — it’s important to give your employer ample time to complete any forms and submissions required by the party requesting your verification.
Some examples of third-parties who may want to verify your employment include:
Lenders originating a loan
Lenders are primarily interested in your ability to manage on-going payments. Your employment income is likely a major factor in managing your overall monthly expenses, so lenders will want to understand how the repayment schedule set in the loan terms relates to your take-home pay.
Credit card issuers seeking salary information
Credit card issuers base their decisions about new applicants on several factors, including their current employment and salary. Like most lenders, their main motivation is assessing your ability to honor your debt with timely payments. Although your current salary doesn't play a factor in your FICO Credit Score, it provides creditors with an additional metric to measure your likelihood of making payments.
Property owners issuing a lease
Leases can be difficult to break, so property owners are keen to ensure that new tenants will be able to make their rent. Though less likely, property owners may also want to get a sense for how you’ll use the property under consideration, e.g., whether you’ll be around the property during the day or out working elsewhere.
Employers extending offers to new employees
Salary negotiations usually take your current or most recent rate of pay into consideration, so new employers may require you to verify the salary information that you provide. This helps new employers get a baseline for how you’ve been compensated in the past and also provides a valuable window into how other organizations pay their employees. It’s important to note that this practice is illegal in some states and locales, including California and New York City.
Work visa holders validating their employment
If you’re in a country on a work visa, such as an H1-B, you’ll almost certainly need to provide proof of your employment to qualify for an extended stay. Requirements will vary depending upon the issuing country and visa type, so be sure to confirm your specific obligations under your visa arrangement. Certain countries allow visa holders to switch to new positions while remaining under the original visa granted, but in these cases, it’s prudent to get proof of your new employment offer in advance and verify that you’ll still qualify for your visa with the issuing agency.
Records that prove employment
If you’re working at a more established company, your HR or Personnel department has likely already dealt with requests for proof of employment and may have a system in place for handling these requests. If it’s a smaller company or you’re working as a contractor, then you may need to gather the requisite records yourself.
Employment Verification Letter
The most common proof of employment is an employment verification letter from an employer that includes the employee’s dates of employment, job title, and salary. It’s also often called a "letter of employment," a "job verification letter," or a "proof of employment letter."
Your employer may not have issued an Employment Verification Letter before, so it’s helpful to provide them with a template that includes space for all the information that lenders may seek, including:
- Employer’s business name and address — Verifies the location of your employment.
- The name and address of the company requesting the verification letter — Explains the reasons for the request.
- The current or former employee’s job title — Verifies that you’re working the role you’ve indicated to the requesting party.
- The dates the current or former staff member was employed — Ensures that your listed employment information is timely and correct.
- Optionally, a list of the employee’s responsibilities — Helps third parties understand the nature of your current role and evaluate it against your past experience and ability to manage the job effectively.
- The current or former employee’s salary, including any bonuses — Helps lenders gauge your ability to make payments or employers to offer an appropriate salary. Again, this practice is illegal in certain states, so be sure to check local laws before sharing this information.
- Your name, signature, and contact information — Allows recipients to contact you if required.
In order to make things easier for you and your employer, we’ve put together a template for an effective Employment Verification Letter here.
Pay stubs and other salary information
If the person requesting your proof of employment is primarily interested in your financial situation, pay stubs from your current role may suffice. Payroll providers will typically allow you to download a digital copy of your pay records, but if you’re scanning and sending them yourself, be sure to capture all of the relevant information in a clear, readable copy.
When possible, provide up to three months of pay stubs in order to demonstrate your earnings over an extended period of time. Ensure that pay stub information includes:
- Your employer’s name
- The dates for the given pay period
- Where applicable, your current salary or rate of pay
- The net amount of your payment, less applicable taxes and withholdings
- Where applicable, a breakdown of your tips or other non-salary compensation
If you’re working as a contractor, including your entire invoice to the client—along with their associated payment—will help make sure you’ve included all of the relevant information from the party looking to verify your employment.
References from people at your current place of employment, whether an HR person or your direct manager, can also suffice as proof of employment for those third parties that don’t require a formal Employment Verification Letter.
When listing a contact as a reference, be sure to obtain their permission first. This step goes a long way in building and maintaining rapport with your colleagues, as they may be hit with a flurry of similar requests just as yours arrives.
If the party requesting verification wants a more formal attestation from a reference, consider providing your colleague with our template for the Employment Verification Letter to prepare them for the details that they may need to provide.
You’re not required to disclose the reason for your seeking proof of employment, but where contextually appropriate, notify your reference of why you’re seeking their confirmation. If you’re seeking a new job, perhaps consider asking a trusted colleague or letting them know why you’re looking for options elsewhere.
Contracts or other signed agreements
Although less thorough than a full Proof of Employment letter, your original signed, executed contract or employment agreement with your current company may suffice.
When a contract or agreement is lengthy or complex, provide a summary cover page with the main information requested by the lender, usually:
- Full Name
- Date of Hire
- Salary/Rate of Pay
- Nature of employment (Seasonal, Time-Bound, At-Will)
The more details, the better
The most important requirement in proving your employment is to cover all of the major points required by the party requesting verification. The major points to include are usually your Full Name, Job Title, Dates of Employment, and Rate of Pay (Salary/Hourly Wage). If the party requesting your information does so manually, consider sending them a request for a Letter of Employment via TrueWork, as our service automates the verification process on their end and can speed up requests like yours in the future.
Learn more about Truework
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