The hard part is over. You’ve found the perfect candidate to work for your company, and you’re ready to make them an offer. That’s where a job offer letter comes in. A well-written job offer letter can seal the deal for a new employee. It’s a small but important step in the hiring process. Let’s take a closer look.
What is a job offer letter?
A formal job offer letter or employment offer letter is an offer of employment from you or your hiring manager to a potential employee. You may have already offered the candidate the job either in person or over the phone. But you should consider following up with a formal and documented job offer letter.
Your job offer letter should include details about the position, the company, and the employment relationship. The candidate should have all the information they need to make an informed and confident decision. The candidate can sign the letter and return it to you or your hiring manager to accept the job offer.
An employment offer letter can serve as documentation of employment terms and conditions. However, a job offer letter may not be a legally binding employment agreement. It’s wise to have a legal or HR professional review your offer letter before you send it.
How to write a job offer letter
There’s no standard format for a job offer letter. You can customize your letter to suit your company and prospective employees. But there are a few elements you should include.
A company logo and contact information
Use the official company letterhead to craft your job offer letter. At the very least, include a high-resolution image of your logo. A professional look and feel instills confidence in your candidates and can ensure they take your offer seriously. Don’t forget to include your contact information in case the candidate has additional questions.
A date and candidate information
For documentation purposes, don’t forget to include the date of the offer at the top of the job offer letter. Include the candidate’s first and last name and address.
Your greeting can be as formal or casual as you choose. You may even use language that aligns with your company culture. But your tone should strive to convey professionalism. “Dear [candidate name]” is a safe choice. Feel free to congratulate the candidate and express excitement about offering them the job.
Now it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty. Begin the letter with information about the position. This information includes:
- A formal job title
- A short job description
- An anticipated start date
- Their employment classification (full- or part-time)
- The position’s work hours or work schedule
- The position’s pay structure (hourly, salary, commission, etc.)
- Your pay schedule and pay periods
- Your office location
- Their manager or supervisor’s information
These details tell the candidate what to expect from the job and answer any questions they might still have.
Clearly outline the candidate’s compensation package. Include details about their starting salary or hourly rate, how often you will pay them, and available payment methods. If applicable, this is also a great place to talk about commission structures, bonuses, equity or stock options, and other compensation.
At-will employment means an employer can dismiss an employee for any reason and without warning, as long as the reason for termination is legal. Every state, except Montana, is an at-will employment state. It’s important to include this statement for legal documentation if you need to terminate the employee.
Your job offer may be contingent upon the candidate completing certain documents or tasks. If so, mention these conditions in the job offer letter. Common conditions and contingencies include:
- Submitting to a background check
- Completing an I-9 form
- Signing a confidentiality agreement or non-disclosure agreement
- Submitting to a drug test
- Signing a non-compete agreement
An employer’s benefits package plays a big role in a candidate’s decision to accept or decline a job offer. Summarize your employee benefits plan in your job offer letter to encourage your candidate to accept your offer. Employee benefits might include:
- Health insurance coverage
- 401(k) and retirement plans
- Paid time off
- Flexible schedules or remote work options
- Paid gym memberships
You won’t need to be too detailed in this section. The candidate will get more information during employee orientation or in your employee handbook should they choose to accept the position.
If you have other candidates waiting to hear from your company, you may want to include an expiration date on the job offer. A deadline on the job offer may speed up the prospective employee’s decision. You should give your candidate a few days—or up to a week—to consider your offer.
Now that your candidate has all the information they need to decide, it’s time to close the letter. Use your closing statement to express excitement about the candidate and the job offer. Encourage them to reach out if they have additional questions and let them know you look forward to hearing from them. Finally, include a line for the candidate to sign and date your offer.
You might include a brief disclaimer to explain that the letter is not a legally binding contract. Consider running your job offer letter past a lawyer or legal professional to make sure you’re not using language that carries legal implications.
Job offer letter template
If you’ve already extended the offer verbally and the candidate expressed interest, you may consider sending a job offer. Review the job offer letter sample below, or download the letter template.
[Your company logo]
[Your contact information]
[Candidate first name last name]
Dear [candidate name],
We are pleased to offer you [full-time/part-time] employment with [company name] in the position of [job title], starting on [start date]. In this position, you will report to [manager/supervisor name] at [workplace location]. We believe you will be a great addition to our team!
The starting [base salary/hourly pay] for this position is [amount] to be paid [monthly, weekly, etc.] by [direct deposit/check] starting on [date of the first payday]. In addition to this starting pay, you will receive [annual bonuses, commissions, etc.].
As an employee of the company, you are eligible for our benefits package, which includes [benefits]. We’ll go over additional benefits in more detail during your new employee orientation.
Your employment with [company name] is “at will,” which means you or the company may terminate our employment relationship at any time, with or without cause or advance notice.
This offer is contingent upon the successful completion of [background checks/agreements, etc.].
This offer of employment will expire [expiration date] at [time].
[Candidate first name], we are excited by the prospect of you joining our team. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out at any time. Please confirm your acceptance of this offer by signing and returning this letter.
Signed: __________________________________________________ Date: ____________________
This letter is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract of employment.
Job offer letter email template
If you’ve already extended the offer verbally and the candidate expressed interest, you may consider sending a job offer email.
The benefit of emailing a job offer letter is that you can include attachments to help the candidate make their decision. These attachments might include information regarding company policies, employee benefits, and compensation plans.
You may include your formal job offer letter as a PDF or Word document with a brief email message and a clear subject line. Review our job offer email below, or download the email template.
Subject line: Job offer from [company name]
Dear [candidate name],
Congratulations on your offer from [company name]! We are delighted to offer you the position of [job title] with an anticipated start date of [start date].
As discussed, please find your offer letter attached. If you accept this offer, please sign, scan, and email your letter back to me by [expiration date].
I’ve also attached additional information regarding our [benefits, company policies, etc.].
We look forward to hearing from you! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
[Your contact information]
[Your company logo]
Customize and send your job offer letter
Now that you have your job offer letter template, it’s time to customize it for your company. Don’t forget to have a legal or human resource professional review your job offer letter to avoid potential legal implications.
These templates can save time during your hiring process and help you acquire prospective candidates quickly. However, it’s always a good idea to personalize each job offer letter you send. Additionally, you should refresh your job offer letter templates as your company policies and values evolve.
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