To find the perfect candidate, business owners and hiring managers often need to review dozens of resumes and hold several interviews. After choosing a talented applicant for a position, you can encourage them to take the job with an engaging, informative job offer. An ideal offer letter describes the job and gives the candidate the confidence to accept it. In this article, we'll discuss what to include in a job offer letter and provide a job offer letter template.
What is a job offer letter?
A job offer letter extends a job offer to a successful applicant. Companies usually send a job offer letter before completing background checks, drug tests, and reference checks and after making an offer in person or over the phone. An offer letter provides:
- An overview of the position and the company
- A summary of the main terms and conditions of the offer
- A starting date
- A brief description of training or orientation requirements
- A list of the documents the candidate should provide to complete the onboarding process
- Instructions on how to accept the offer
"Talk about the compensation package your company offers for the position. Describe how much they'll make per year or per hour, when they can expect their pay, and payment options, such as checks or direct deposit. Also detail bonus and commission structures if the role includes them."
Advise the candidate to call the hiring manager or write a job offer acceptance letter or email if they want the position. It's a good idea to have a lawyer review your offer letter before sending it. However, offer letters are not legally binding employment contracts or agreements. People usually sign employment contracts during onboarding on their first days at work.
What does a job offer letter include?
There's no standard format for a job offer letter, so include the most essential information. Most job offer letters contain:
The company logo
Using your business's official letterhead with a high-resolution company logo conveys your organization's authenticity and professionalism. This encourages potential employees to continue reading and consider your offer thoroughly.
The date and the candidate's contact information
In the upper left corner, include the date you wrote the letter, the person's first and last name, and their address:
A greeting and introduction
Start a job offer letter with “Dear” and the candidate's first and last name. Let them know that your company is enthusiastic about the job offer with an upbeat, positive opening line, such as, “We are pleased to offer you a [full-time, part-time, or freelance] position as [job title] at [Company Name].” Depending on the company culture, opening lines can be casual or formal.
Include details about the position, such as the date and time the candidate should start, the address where they'll work, the name of the manager or supervisor, and whether the job is full time or part time. This gives the candidate any information they could've overlooked or misunderstood during the interview.
Talk about the compensation package your company offers for the position. Describe how much they'll make per year or per hour, when they can expect their pay, and payment options, such as checks or direct deposit. Also, detail bonus and commission structures if the role includes them.
Summarizing the benefits your company offers encourages job acceptance. Save details for the employee handbook or orientation package, but give an overview of the following:
- 401(k) or other retirement plans
- Insurance coverage
- Paid time off
- Educational assistance
- Employee discounts
- Flexible work hours
- Remote work options
The popularity of remote work is growing. According to Forbes, 28.2% of full-time employees had a hybrid schedule, and 12.7% worked from home in 2023.
Many companies add an expiration date to job offer letters. It encourages people to reply quickly if they decide to accept the job. This helps you fill the position as soon as possible and avoids losing opportunities to recruit other qualified candidates. Give the candidate at least a week to think carefully about their decision to take or decline the job.
Closing or conclusion
End your job offer letter by saying you look forward to welcoming the person to the team. Provide your name, contact information, and instructions for accepting the offer. Many companies also include a space for the potential employee to sign, date, and return the letter if they decide to take the job.
Disclaimers and legal information
Speak to an attorney to ensure you include any disclaimers needed and avoid language that could have legal implications. Every state except Montana has at-will employment, so the company or the employee can end the employment agreement at any time for almost any reason. There are some exceptions. For example, employers can't fire someone because they have a disability.
Including an at-will statement lets people know that accepting a job offer doesn't guarantee employment for a set length of time. Also include a brief disclaimer stating that the job offer is an informational document, not a legally binding agreement or contract.
Job offer letter template
You can use this sample job offer letter to create your company's next offer letter.
[The candidate's first and last name]
[Their address with the city, state, and zip code]
Dear [Candidate Name],
We are pleased to offer you the [full-time, part-time, or freelance] position of [job title] at [Company Name]. Your start date will be [start date], after we complete your background check and receive your identification and tax information. You will report directly to [the manager or supervisor's name], our [their job title]. This job is at [the workplace location], and your work hours will be from [the days and hours the candidate will work].
Your experience and skills are an excellent match for our organization. In this role, you will [list the main duties and responsibilities of the job].
The starting salary for this position is [the annual or hourly dollar amount]. You will receive payment [monthly, weekly, or every two weeks] by [check or direct deposit], starting on [the date of the first payment]. Along with a generous salary, we offer [list any applicable benefits like stock options, medical insurance, a 401(k), bonuses, and commissions]. To learn more about available benefits, consult our [employee handbook or orientation package].
Your employment with [Company Name] will be at-will, meaning that you or the organization are free to end the employment relationship for any reason and at any time. This letter is not a contract or guarantee of employment for a defined period.
Please confirm that you accept this offer by [signing and returning it, replying with an offer acceptance letter, or contacting the hiring manager] before [offer expiration date]. If you have any questions, please contact us. We look forward to having you join our team.
[Your printed name]
[Your job title]
Job offer letters encourage candidates to consider offers. They provide the information people need to decide whether to work for your business. To many people, a written job offer is more credible than a verbal offer.
Learn more about job offer letters and hiring new candidates:
A good job offer letter helps your business expedite the hiring process.
Describing attractive employee benefits in an offer letter is an excellent way to encourage candidates to accept.
Deciding on a competitive salary can help you send successful job offer letters and recruit candidates.
After a potential employee accepts a job offer, be prepared to negotiate salary.