Writing an Offer Letter? Here’s What to Include

graphic of how to write an offer letter, approved and rejected resumes, vector illustration

Did you just find the perfect candidate for your job opening? Congratulations! Now, it’s time to offer them the job and send them an offer letter.

What is an Offer Letter?

An offer letter is a formal offer of employment. It’s not required, but it’s a good idea to send one because it gives you the opportunity to set expectations and clarify details right from the start.

An offer letter is often sent immediately after you have called the candidate to verbally offer them the job. Once your candidate receives the offer letter, they can accept the offer, sign in and return it, or they can decline the job or return the offer with a counteroffer.

The best way to send the offer letter is by email because your candidate can review it immediately.

What’s in an Offer Letter?

You can make your offer letter as detailed as you want. It’s a good idea, however, to include a few specific things:

A Note of Congratulations

Tell your candidate that you’re excited they’re joining your team. You can make the note even more personal by sharing why you’re excited to have them. Starting off the offer letter with a personal note of congratulations will start your working relationship with the candidate on the right foot.

The Candidate’s Start Date

Including the candidate’s start date is an important detail to include in their offer letter. They need to know when (and where) to show up on their first day of work. They also might have to put in notice with another job, so make sure they have a date to give their current boss.

Their Work Schedule

Use the offer letter to tell the candidate when they can expect to work. Is their job Monday-Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM? Or something different? Let them know now so they’re prepared.

Their Job Title and Job Description

During the interview process, you probably talked quite a bit about their job title and job duties, but use the offer letter to finalize those details and tell the candidate what they can expect to be doing.

Their Salary or Hourly Rate

You may have told them their payrate on the phone, but having it in writing is always a good idea.

The Paid Time Off Policy

Does your company offer vacation time or paid holidays? Tell your candidate about the policy now so they can start planning their family trips.

The Reporting Structure

It’s nice to tell the candidate who their direct supervisor will be so they know who to ask for on their first day of work. Nobody wants to start a new job by wandering the halls looking for someone who can help them (but not knowing who that person is).

The Pay Schedule

Sharing your company’s pay schedule can really help the candidate. If you tell them when they’ll get their first paycheck, they’ll be able to plan some of their expenses around that payday.

The Offer’s Expiration Date

Make sure to include the day the offer expires in the offer letter. If you don’t include the expiration date, the candidate might think they can get back to you in a month, when you really need to know by next Monday.

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