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A Guide To Various Supporting Documents Needed For Job-Seeking

When looking for a job, the majority of employers may look for more than your resume and cover letter. These are called “supporting documentation”. Knowing what these documents are can help you prepare beforehand and avoid cramming while trying to figure out what these documents are and how to prepare them. 

Why do employers ask for supporting documentation?

Supporting documentation helps employers evaluate applications and determine which candidate is best fitted for the job. For example, requesting writing samples from candidates can help employers evaluate the quality of your work and decide if you are qualified for the job. It can also help them see whether or not applicants can follow instructions.

List of supporting documentation:

Here are some of the supporting documentation the company might ask you to prepare.


  • Resume
  • A resume is a document containing a list of your work experience and skills. It is usually created by a person looking for a new job. Resumes should also include your contact number. You can always look for some examples of resumes on the web for guidance.


  • Cover letter
  • A cover letter is a letter of introduction to your and your background. It usually accompanies another document like a resume. Its purpose is to inform your employer that you are interested in a position in their company. Unlike a resume that’s factual and brief and whose purpose is to provide a list of your professional experience, a cover letter’s main purpose, however, is to convince the employer why you’re the best person for the job and why they should hire you out of all the applicants. 


  • Reference list
  • A reference list contains all the sources cited in the text. It is usually arranged alphabetically by the author. If your reference does not contain an author then it is cited alphabetically by title. It is commonly placed at the end of work. 

  • Letter of recommendation
  • A letter of recommendation is a letter from a professional in your network recommending you for a job or position. It is a testament on behalf of the author that you possess the necessary skills, experience, and potential to be successful in the job you’re applying for. This letter validates your work, skills, or academic performance. 

The letter should include the name of the person recommending you, and their connection with you. It should also include the reason why they think you are qualified for the job and the skills you possess that can make you successful in the job you are seeking. 


  • Transcript
  • An official transcript is basically a copy of your permanent academic record. It is a list that contains all the courses you took, the dates you attended and finished school, your major, degree, and cumulative  GPA (grade point average).

The majority of the employers require a more official document, however, students can access an unofficial transcript in their school’s online portal.


  • Portfolio
  • A portfolio is a showcase of your talents and skills. Things like certificates and samples of past work. Letters of recommendation and transcript are also included here.


  • Writing samples
  • Writing samples like essays, articles, and the like, are usually requested by employers if you’re applying for a job that requires a lot of writing. Some examples of these jobs are journalism, marketing, and research. 


Most employers only ask for your resume and cover letter, however, some ask for supporting documents like the ones stated above. There is always a purpose as to why employers request these types of documents, so if your employer asks you for supporting documents, make sure to comply for you to get a better chance of getting the job.

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