What Documents You May Need to Start a New Job

What Documents You May Need to Start a New Job

If you plan on starting a new job, you need to be ready for a mountain of paperwork. No matter what type of industry you’re in, you need to complete an onboarding process. That process could include things like filling out tax documents, employee verification, and more. Before you start the job search, you should have your employment documents ready.

Why Should You Have Your Documents Ahead of Time?

You might be wondering why you need to plan so far in advance. After all, why can’t you just gather your necessary documents after you receive a job offer? There are several good reasons you should be ready to provide certain documents.

For one, a missing document could take weeks to find. By the time you actually obtain the document, the employer could have changed their mind about hiring you. If you find that you’re missing a document before you apply for jobs, you have plenty of time to figure out how to get a new copy.

There’s also the matter of seeming professional. If a prospective employer asks you for a document and you can’t produce it in a timely manner, you come across as unprofessional. Even if the employer still chooses to hire you, they’ll have a misconception that you’re disorganized or slow. On the other hand, if you’re quick to produce documents, you come across as professional and prepared.

Finally, there’s the issue of your pay. Do you want to wait months for your first paycheck? If you don’t have all of your documents ready, the onboarding process is likely to be slow. The process could keep you from getting a paycheck in a timely manner.

Which Employment Forms and Documents Do You  Need?

Now that you know why you should get your documents ready, you can start collecting and organizing them. When you’re looking for work, you should have all of these forms and documents in a safe, easily accessible place:

Driver’s License or Government ID

For most jobs, you need to be able to provide a copy of your driver’s license or government ID. If you lost your ID, don’t waste any more time. Figure out the steps you need to take to get a duplicate because the process could take months.

College Degree or GED

Depending on your level of education, you should have the appropriate documents to prove that you graduated. If you have a bachelor’s degree, you should have a copy of your transcripts. Not all employers will require this, but some will. There’s no harm in having your transcripts readily accessible.

Old W-2 Forms

If a prospective employer wants to verify your previous income, they’ll ask you for copies of old W-2s. A W-2 is a tax form that shows income. With that said, you may not be obligated to show your W-2. In some places, an employer can’t ask you to provide this. You should research your local laws and find out if this is a standard request in your industry.

Proof of Eligibility to Work in the US

If you’re not a US citizen, you may need to provide proof that you’re legally able to work in this country. Once again, you need to have the actual documentation for this. If you are a US citizen, you still may need to show your birth certificate or social security card.

In the US, there’s an e-verify system that makes it possible for employers to confirm whether or not a prospective employee can legally work in the US. The employer uses this system after they receive the necessary documentation from the employee.

Copies of Your Resume

Before you receive a job offer, you need to be successful in an interview. When you go for an interview, you should bring at least two copies of your resume. If the interviewer doesn’t have your resume in front of them, you can supply them with a copy.

Having a copy of your resume makes you seem well-prepared. It’s a great way to stand out during the interview process. Just make sure everything on your resume makes sense and that you don’t embellish too much.

Reference List

You should also have a reference list printed out for your job search. Employers sometimes ask for references early on in the process, while others wait to ask for them towards the end. If you have your references ready to go, it doesn’t matter when the employer asks for them.

Check with all your references before you include them on your list. If you haven’t warned the former colleague or employer about your intent to use them, then send an email or pick up the phone. Verify their contact details and let them know you would love to be able to use them as a reference.

How to Replace Your Documents

If you don’t have all the documents you need to start a new job, it’s time to take action. The action depends on the document you’re missing. If you lost your passport, you should contact the US Department of State. The process could take several weeks or months.

For a lost Social Security card, you need to go online to the Social Security website. You might also need to go into your Social Security office. In some areas, there are lengthy wait times for appointments. A college transcript is a little easier to obtain, as all you need to do is call up your college and ask them to send it to you.

You can obtain a W-2 by going to the IRS website or speaking with previous employers. This usually only takes a few days. Meanwhile, obtaining a new driver’s license requires you to go to the DMV. You might be able to do the process online, so check their website first.

Start on the Right Track

Why let paperwork keep you from obtaining a new job? If you want to expedite the process and seem professional, have all of the necessary documents ready.

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