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What Documents Are Needed to Get a Job?

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The verification process for an employer when considering a job applicant relies heavily on documentation. The applicant can provide information during the interview, but it is up to the employer to confirm the credentials and to verify the claims of the applicant as to their background. It is important to have the right documents along in order to get a job.


This is the first thing a prospective employer needs to verify about the applicant. It affects the employer’s ability to establish the background of the individual, and also affects other aspects of the employee’s status and tenure within the company. This includes the applicant’s employment eligibility, income tax payments and insurance liability. Accepted forms of identification to get a job generally require a photo of the applicant, such as a state-issued ID card or a driver’s license, and a social security card.

Educational Background

The applicant’s academic background is very often an important aspect of their suitability for the job. Many positions require a sufficient amount of specific education for the work that will be performed, especially those of a technical nature. The minimum educational documentation for any job is a high school diploma or a GED certificate. Proof of higher educational courses require college diplomas or school records to support any information the employer can obtain through a records search based on a social security number or other ID.

Vocational Training

Many jobs will require proof of related experience in the position being filled. This can be in the form of vocational school records or certificates. Other documents that prove the applicant’s experience in a field or trade include licenses or certification paperwork from a previous position. In some cases, a letter of reference from a former employer will suffice, if it shows a proven ability by the applicant to perform the necessary functions of the position being filled.

Criminal Background

Those who may have a criminal record will likely be asked for some form of paperwork related to their case. Some prospective employers rely on law enforcement databases for this information to verify a person’s criminal background, but any documentation the applicant can bring, especially when it reflects a good outcome as to their ability to fulfill the requirements of their sentence, can help to reassure the interviewer of the applicant’s worth.

Credit Standing

One of the newer verifications steps that prospective employers are taking is to look at the applicant’s credit reports. This approach is, in most cases, a way for the employer to gauge the applicant’s reliability in handling their own responsibilities, which can be a reflection of how they will handle the responsibilities of the job. Any questionable information in a person’s credit history, even if it has a reasonable explanation, would be better explained with paperwork that can show the details of the instances in which a question may be asked about their reliability.


Greg Jackson is a transcriber, proofreader and editor. Jackson has been writing professionally since 1975, drawing on creative writing courses and personal experiences. His most outstanding work has been as an editor, proofreader and transcriber on two published books, "Douglas Fairbanks: In His Own Words" and "Bohemian Grove: Cult of Conspiracy."