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Writing an employment offer letter isn't easy; you must create a compelling agreement that favors both the candidate and your company. Recruiters have one of the most challenging tasks in an organization; seeking out talent and offering them jobs that fit their needs and expertise!

You can avoid many risks with employment offer letters that you would typically face with traditional hiring. However, keep reading if you're interested in finding out how employment offer letters work.

Here's all you need to know about employment offer letters and how you can write one.

What is an Employment Offer Letter?

An employment offer letter is a formal document that a company may send to candidates offering them employment at their establishment. Typically, the offer is first made over the phone or by email. Then, the offer letter is sent to provide more details about the position.

Employment offer letters go by many names, including:

Here is an article about employment offer letters.

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Are Employment Offer Letters Legally Binding?

Before accepting a job offer, the candidate has no obligation to the company. However, an employment offer letter includes a legally binding employment contract.

Therefore, the candidate is legally bounded to the company after:

  • Accepting the job offer: They receive a formal document that stipulates the job description, responsibilities, compensation, and other necessary information.
  • Signing the employment contract : The signature upon acceptance confirms that the candidate has read all the contract details.
  • Becoming an employee : The individual is now responsible for performing their duties and can enjoy the perks as the company's employee.

Here is an article about how an employment offer letter legally binds an employee.

What Should Be Included in an Employment Offer Letter?

The elements included in an employment offer letter depend on the job title, company, and state law. However, most employment offer letters have the following information at a minimum:

  • A congratulatory opening line ( [Company name] is pleased to offer you the job of a [position] [job title] at our company.)
  • Contact Information (Phone number, email, recruiter name, office location)
  • Job title in detail
  • Position type (full-time, part-time, exempt, non-exempt)
  • Reporting structure daily (manager/supervisor and office location)
  • Beginning date of employment
  • Monthly or yearly salary
  • Structure for bonuses
  • Information about benefits and eligibility (Insurance coverage, educational assistance, 401(k) plan, flexible spending accounts, paid time off, flexible work hours, remote work module)
  • Employee contract and/or at-will employment status (Both parties can terminate employment at any time)
  • Agreements on confidentiality
  • Non-compete agreement
  • Confirmation of acceptance
  • Contingencies (drug test, background check, I-9 form, reference checks, signed confidentiality agreement)
  • Disclaimer detailing that the job offer is informational and not legally binding. ( This job offer letter is not an employment contract detailing employment terms.)

Here is an article about the elements of an employment offer letter.

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Can You Negotiate an Employment Offer Letter?

The candidate may negotiate the salary even after receiving an employment offer. They are entitled to compensation based on their expertise and experience in the field.

You may do so by writing a reply letter or email detailing your desired salary and its reason.

Here is an article about how you can negotiate an employment offer letter.

Terms to Look for in an Employment Offer Letter

As a candidate, you must look for certain terms in an employment offer letter to ensure you are compensated for your expertise.

Here are a few of those terms.

  • Salary: The money offered shouldn't simply be a living wage. Instead, the compensation should compensate you based on your skills, knowledge, experience, and accordance with the local market.
  • Job Content: Analyze the job responsibilities mentioned by the employer and determine whether they align with your skills and capabilities. Ask yourself whether a team-oriented or independent reporting structure would suit you best or what kind of projects would interest you.
  • Cultural Fit: Other than determining whether your knowledge aligns with this job offer, you must figure out whether you'll be a good cultural fit at that organization. Ask yourself whether this environment will make you happy, challenge you, and bring out the best in you.
  • Benefits: Vacation time and flexibility are other important factors to consider in a job offer. Look for additional time paid off, sick leave, parental leave, and other benefits. If none, you may negotiate with the employer or ask yourself whether you would benefit from a strict and structured work module.

Here is an article about how you can evaluate a job offer.

Example of an Employment Offer Letter

Here is an example of an employment offer letter to help you understand the format. You may copy and paste this template.

Dear [Name of Candidate],

[Company name] is elated to offer you the job of a [position] [job title] at our company, starting no later than [start date], on the condition of [contingencies.]

As a [position] [job title] at [company name], you will take on these responsibilities:

  • [1st Job responsibility]
  • [2nd Job responsibility]
  • [3rd Job responsibility]
  • [4th Job responsibility]
  • [5th Job responsibility]

Your reporting structure leads to [manager/supervisor title and name] at [establishment location]. Working hours are from [hours of day, days of week].

The salary for a [position and title] at our company is [salary], which is distributed on a [weekly, biweekly, monthly] basis by [payment method]. You will receive your first payment on [first pay period]. Plus, you are also eligible for receiving [additional compensation potential].

The benefits program at [company name] is made to cater to employees, including [benefits]. You will be working at this company on an at-will basis, allowing both parties to terminate employment at any time, with or without cause or any advance notice.

Note: This job offer letter is not an employment contract detailing employment terms.

Please confirm the acceptance of our job offer by signing and returning this employment offer letter by [expiration date].


[Signature of Recruiter]

[Name of Recruiter]

Signature of Candidate:

Name of Candidate:

Date of Acceptance:

Here is an article about writing an employment offer letter from scratch.

Difference Between an Employment Offer Letter and an Employment Contract

An employment offer letter is most commonly confused with an employment contract. However, employment offers are just letters that propose the position to the candidate. In comparison, employment contracts are legally binding documents that allow the candidate to accept the job.

Employment contracts are a part of an employment offer letter once the candidate decides to accept the job offer.

Here are a few ways in which both these documents differ:

  • Employment contracts are legally binding, while employment offer letters are not.
  • Job offer letters include "at-will" statements. Employment contracts include specific stipulations for employment conditions, differing from "at-will."
  • Employment contracts include promises for future employment, while employment offer letters do not.

Here's what an employment contract includes:

  • Employee
  • Employer
  • Position
  • Compensation
  • Start date
  • Term.
  • Benefits
  • Confidentiality
  • Non-compete
  • Non-solicitation
  • Probationary period
  • Termination
  • Work for Hire clause
  • Agency provision

Here is an article about the difference between an employment offer letter and an employment contract.

Who Can Review an Employment Contract?

An employment lawyer can review an employment contract to determine the document's legal compliance, thoroughness, and fairness. Most companies ask employment lawyers to write employment contracts for them to avoid future costs.

Employment lawyers typically include consultation, review and analysis, proposed redlines, and memo and call while determining the fees for the review. You will need to provide your employment background, information about the new role, priorities, and questions for the contract review.

Here is an article about what to expect from an employment contract review.

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ContractsCounsel is not a law firm, and this post should not be considered and does not contain legal advice. To ensure the information and advice in this post are correct, sufficient, and appropriate for your situation, please consult a licensed attorney. Also, using or accessing ContractsCounsel's site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and ContractsCounsel.

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