In a business environment, you may be asked to write a certification letter for an employee or colleague or you may have to provide a certification letter to someone else about yourself. Certification letters can be sent in hard copy or over email, depending on the needs of the business.
What is a Certification Letter?
A certification letter is used to verify information. They also provide information on the completion of a task or responsibility and provide accurate and true depictions of the task in question. In business, you may require certification letters to confirm:
- A place of employment, length of employment, salary, job title and job description.
- An investment or stake in ownership for a corporate entity.
- Personal and business details for visa applications for foreign countries.
- How long you’ve known a person and the nature of your relationship for a background check.
- Place of residence.
- Financial status and credit details.
Truth and Accuracy in Certification Letters
Due to the nature of the certification letter, it’s vital that the information contained in the document be complete, accurate and truthful. Because the letter is used to verify information, the author of the letter needs to provide correct details like dates, names and numbers. Typically, certification letters are short – no more than a few paragraphs.
Certification letters should not use flowery language or exaggerations. Instead, the letter should be written in plain language and get the message across succinctly and clearly. For example, if you have to write a letter to certify that an employee is working in an organization, you need to provide details such as how long the employee has worked there, what her tasks are and what kind of an employee she is.
Format of a Certification Letter
A certification letter should be written in a formal tone, following proper letter-writing etiquette. If your business has a formal letterhead, use that to write your letter. If you don’t have formal letterhead, be sure to include your business name and contact details at the top of the letter in place of the letterhead. If you’re typing your letter, be sure to use a font that's appropriate for business. Don't use any bold colors in the font or the paper.
Before you begin writing your letter, collect the details that you need to confirm in the document. You may need to look up important dates or locations. Because the letter is certifying information, be sure that the information you're going to provide is factually correct.
Draft your certification letter in a formal business style:
- Write today's date.
- Double space and write the recipient’s name, title, company and contact information.
- Use a formal salutation, such as “Dear” or “To,” and the correct prefix for the recipient.
- State why you're writing this letter in your introductory paragraph, and include why you're the right person to certify this information.
- In the next paragraph, provide the details you need to verify.
- In the last paragraph, thank the recipient for reading your letter and offer to answer any additional questions they may have about the subject.
- Sign off formally using “Sincerely” and your full name.
Sample Certification Statement Template
This is a sample certification statement for confirming an employee works at your business.
January 31, 2019
Human Resources Manager, ABC Systems
123 Country Road
Dear Ms. Smith,
This letter is to certify that Dave Johnston worked at Market Corporation for five years. I'm the owner of Market Corporation and hired Mr. Johnston in 2014.
Mr. Johnston was employed by Market Corporation from January 1, 2014, to January 1, 2019. He started off as the marketing coordinator and was promoted to marketing manager on January 1, 2017. His duties as marketing manager included overseeing the campaigns for all of our products on a national level. I was pleased with his attention to detail and creative digital strategies.
If you have any further questions about Mr. Johnston’s employment, don’t hesitate to contact me. Thank you for your time in this matter.
Owner, Market Corporation
Anam Ahmed is a Toronto-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience helping small businesses and entrepreneurs reach new heights. She has experience ghostwriting and editing business books, especially those in the "For Dummies" series, in addition to writing and editing web content for the brand. Anam works as a marketing strategist and copywriter, collaborating with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, lifestyle bloggers to professional athletes. As a small business owner herself, she is well-versed in what it takes to run and market a small business. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.