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I'm looking for the word for an official document that verifies that a person has been employed/appointed for a certain period of time to carry out a certain service. I was thinking "certificate of appointment" but when I look at examples of this, it seems it refers to something more like a diploma, which is not at all what I'm after. Then I was thinking about "certificate of employment", but I'm not sure that could be used not only for regular employment, but also for temporary appointments that a person has had beside (and as part of) their actual job?

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

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    I think the name for this kind of thing is very specific to individual countries and industries. I've never heard of such a thing in the US. Certificate of appointment sounds very strange, because you usually aren't appointed to a job. Certificate of employment sounds OK to me.
    – stangdon
    Commented Jul 6, 2022 at 13:31
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    "Employment record" might be correct in some situations.
    – Peter
    Commented Jul 6, 2022 at 13:38
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    @Mooshi - Correct. If I really needed to prove I'd been employed at a certain company, I guess I could ask the Human Resources department to write a letter stating that I had been employed there. But I have never needed such a thing. If for some reason I need to prove that I am employed now, I just provide a copy of my pay stub. Can I ask: are you in India? I think you might be referring to an employment verification letter.
    – stangdon
    Commented Jul 6, 2022 at 13:48
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    @Mooshi, I was thinking "employment history" for the list of all the jobs I have held, but "employment record" as the documented version (for part of the history) held by an employer. Depending on the purpose it may be more common to use references or to provide a referee.
    – Peter
    Commented Jul 6, 2022 at 14:15
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    @stangdon Interesting! Funny how things vary between countries and cultures! :) And thank you so much for the link – this is pretty much exactly what I'm after!
    – Mooshi
    Commented Jul 6, 2022 at 14:55

3 Answers 3

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(This answer uses American English)

As a note, the common meaning of "appointment" is "a scheduled time to meet with someone in a professional context". You would say "I have a doctor's appointment today" or "I have an appointment to see Mr. Smith at 2pm."

In the context of official government positions or high academia, it is correct to say that someone has been "appointed" to a position, and if you stretch the grammar you could say they have had an "appointment", but this usage is extremely uncommon. Even in this context you would say "they were appointed" instead of "had an appointment". "Appointment" is almost exclusively used for a single scheduled meeting.

Within a typical business, "appointed" is not the correct terminology for being assigned a job, role, or duty. The term "appointed" is a much higher register, that is, much more formal than for normal business activities. It really is only government and high academia that use "appointed".


Now, you are looking for a certificate that confirms that you were employed to a specific position within a company. In America, this is an uncommon request*, and as such, it would be useful to simply describe the object you need as I did here: "a certificate that confirms that you were employed as a {JOB TITLE}."

However, you could give this certificate a title. Many constructions would be acceptable, as there isn't really a standard term. Examples could include "Employment Verification Certificate/Letter/Notice", "Proof of Employment", and so forth. Again, note that "appointment" would be unlikely to be used unless the position was with a government agency or university.

* - In America, it would be more common for your new employer to call your old employer and simply ask them to confirm you worked for them.

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  • What an absolutely excellent answer!!! If I could upvote and check it several times I would :) Thank you so much for this!
    – Mooshi
    Commented Jul 8, 2022 at 14:41
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Sometimes these are referred to as 'employment verification' or 'employment verification forms'.

Source: I've had to both fill them out as an employer and submit them as a potential employee, and that's what they're called.

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  • Welcome to English Language Learners! While this may be correct, we like our answers to be backed up by references. You can edit your answer to include one (e.g. an online dictionary). See the Help Center article How to Answer.
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Jul 6, 2022 at 20:39
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The term you're looking for could be "Proof of Employment Letter" or "Employment Verification Letter"

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