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While employers often have to comply with stringent requirements when it comes to the collection, maintenance, and disposal of their employee’s information, there are certain documents that even employees would do well to keep safely on hand.
This holds especially true when changing jobs, and having to verify employment at an organization that either no longer exists, or one that you’ve left on bad terms. While such situations can be quite stressful, there are a few strategies to effectively document the time spent, experience, and compensation received, among other things at each organization you’ve worked for in the past.
Employment Contracts & Agreements
Few other documents can stand up to employment contracts and agreements when it comes to providing a comprehensive overview of employment history, the nature of job, payscales, perks, positions, and more. As a result, it can be very useful to maintain a copy of signed agreements and contracts, even long after you’ve left an organization.
While employees may not always be entitled to receive a copy of such contracts, they can request for it in writing, and most employers are likely to comply.
Pay Stubs (Recreate Them Online If Necessary)
Having pay stubs or direct deposit notifications provide a clear confirmation of being under someone’s employment, apart from showcasing the total pay being received over the course of the same. Maintaining these documents are essential for negotiating the salary once you receive a job offer, as past perks, benefits, and compensation helps make a strong case.
Usually, pay stubs are directly mailed to employees, unless you’re getting paid via direct deposits. Eitherway, you can always reach out to your previous employer and request that they be reissued, in case you’ve lost them, or require them.
If you feel this is no longer an option, you can easily recreate this document online, using services such as the FormPros Pay Stub Maker.
While recreating the documents, all you have to provide is the basic contact information of your previous employer, for the sake of verification. This should suffice even if your employer is no longer in business, or has merged, or been taken over by another company.
Letters of Termination / Separation
A letter of termination, or separation clearly documents the circumstances that lead to the severance of relations between an employer and an employee, while disclosing the timeline of employment, along with the purpose of termination.
It further includes details pertaining to the final settlement of all pending dues, and any severance packages that are to be awarded to the employee. It also usually includes further instructions regarding what is expected of the employee in order to qualify for the severance package.
Even after ceasing ties with an organization, it is recommended to maintain these letters as proof of the circumstances surrounding the dismissal.
Oftentimes, it isn’t any underperformance or behavioral issues, but rather the broader economic conditions, or financial issues within the organization itself that lead to such terminations, which when clearly mentioned in the letter, can come to the aid of employees when hunting for jobs elsewhere.
Beyond just helping in the verification of employment at a later stage, referral letters often speak to the work performance, punctuality, attendance, and other characteristics of an individual, by his or her immediate supervisor.
While they mostly remain neutral in nature, they can also be glowing testimonials for truly exceptional candidates that can help them stand out when applying for jobs. As a result, make sure to request referral letters, and save them safely, in order to best showcase professional credibility and experience, even if you’re applying for a job decades down the line.
In order to be valid and credible, such letters must be written on the company letterhead, while featuring the signature of the authorized representative.
Having proper records and documentation covering the length of an individual’s employment history, pay scales, progression, and performances, is often considered the true hallmark of a professional.
While prospective employers are unlikely to dig past your most recent job, or position being held, having a clear record to back up your resume always leaves a better perception among recruiters.
This story originally appeared on CareerAttraction