I am providing an "employment verification letter" to one of my past employees. He worked at my company from Oct, 2008 till Jan 2017. Which one of the following is correct?

1) He was employed at XYZ company from Oct, 2008 up until Jan, 2017 OR 2) He had been employed at XYZ company from Oct, 2008 up until Jan, 2017

Thanks for your time.

1 Answer 1


The past perfect is only used to refer to events that are in the past relative to some expressed or implied viewpoint in the past; and even then, it is often not used if the relative timing is clear from surrounding text of expressions of time.

If you use had been employed, you are inviting your reader to look back at the employment from some time later than 2017, but still in the past (either you must already have established such a vantage point, or this will establish such a vantage point). I don't know why you should want to set it up that way, so I think it is unlikely that there is any reason to use had been employed.

  • Thanks for the clarification. In that case, I would use 'was employed'. Please confirm whether I should use 'up until' OR 'until'?
    – Harun Alam
    Jul 15, 2019 at 23:56

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