What To Expect In a Job Offer Letter (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 2 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

It's natural to feel excited when you receive a job offer letter. An offer letter contains all the essential information about your new job, such as the roles and responsibilities, compensation, annual leave and other benefits associated with the position. However, it's important to have a good understanding of the contents of an offer letter to ensure that your prospective employer has included all the necessary information about the job. In this article, we go through the contents of an offer letter, along with tips on how to respond to it.

What is a job offer letter?

A job offer letter, also called an offer of employment letter, is a formal document that acknowledges an employer's intention to hire a potential employee. The letter provides a general overview of the job and includes information such as company details, compensation, benefits, start date, work hours and other relevant job-related details. A candidate can review these details and decide whether to accept or decline the offer letter. An employment offer letter can also serve as the starting point for employment negotiations.

While some companies extend the offer letter on the spot to the selected candidates, others take some time before arriving at a decision. Once they make a decision, they inform the candidates informally over the phone or email before sending across the offer letter. Usually, a detailed employment agreement or contract follows the offer letter.

What are the contents of an offer letter?

While the offer letter varies depending on the industry and specific company, they contain certain important elements. Here are some of the common elements usually seen in an employment offer letter:

Job title

The offer letter often begins with your new job title, which is the formal title of the position in the company.

Job details

The offer letter contains details related to the job, such as the expected start date, work hours, office location and a brief description of the roles and responsibilities associated with this position. It should ideally contain all the important job details to help you decide whether to accept the job offer.

Probationary period

A probationary period is a duration after the joining date, during which the employee or company may part ways without the standard notice period. Often it ranges from a few months to a year, where you're also exempted from certain contractual agreements.

Salary and benefits

The offer letter contains a section that clearly specifies the compensation package offered for the position. It includes the annual salary, frequency of payments and payment methods. It should also include details about commission structures, bonuses or equities if applicable for the role. Look through the benefits section to understand if the employer has included details about:

  • Dental and health insurance

  • Stock options

  • Flexible working hours

  • Work from home options

Read more: How to Provide Your Expected Salary (With Tips and Examples)

Leave benefits

The job offer also contains details about your paid time off, such as paid holiday leave, sick leave, maternity leave and paternity leave.

Reporting structure

While the employer may have already discussed the reporting structure during your interview, you can also expect to find the reporting structure details in your employment offer letter. You might find information on your reporting manager, along with those who might report to you.

Offer expiry date

Sometimes, the company provides a time limit within which they expect you to respond to their offer. Therefore, it's advisable to review the offer letter, decide as soon as possible and send your acknowledgement before the last day.

Termination conditions

The offer letter also contains details about conditions that would cause your job termination. It may also include information about the company's mandatory notice period and details on when and how to submit a resignation letter.

Read more: How To Accept a Job Offer With Sample Acceptance Letters

Examples of the employment offer letter

Here are some sample offer letters to give you a better idea about what you might find in one:

Formal offer letter

The following is a standard formal letter format for an offer letter:

Dear Eric,

Blue Max is excited to bring you on board as a Technical Recruiter. We believe that your experience and personality are an excellent match for our company.

As previously discussed over the phone, this is a full-time position and our office hours are from 9 am to 5 pm, from Monday through Friday. Your start date will be July 1, 2021.

In this position, Blue Max is offering you an annual salary of HK$ 45,000 per year to be paid on a monthly basis by direct deposit. In addition to the annual salary, we're also offering additional benefits that include complete medical and dental insurance coverage, paid leaves and an annual bonus depending on the company's performance. You can find more details about our company benefits policy in your employee handbook.

Kindly confirm your acceptance of this offer by signing and returning this letter before June 1, 2021. Please feel free to call me at +852-55555555 or email me at pat.chung@email.com if you have any questions.

We are excited to have you on our team, and we look forward to working together with you!

Patrick Chung
Head HR
Blue Max

Informal, short offer letter

Sometimes you might receive a shorter version of the offer letter with just the critical information. Here's an example of one such letter:

Dear Chloe,

It's with great pleasure that I'm writing to you to offer you the position of Social Media Manager with Blue Light Solutions. We believe that your skills and experience can be an asset to our company.

This is a full-time position. Our work hours are from 10 am-6 pm from Monday through Saturday. As discussed, you're required to report to the head office on August 1, 2021, to join the orientation program.

Please review the attached document that outlines your duties, responsibilities, compensation details and benefits. Provide your e-signature where indicated and reply to this email on or before July 1, 2021. Feel free to reach out to me anytime if you have any questions.

We look forward to welcoming you as part of the Blue Light Solutions team!

Paul Wong,
Human Resources Director
Blue Light Solutions

Read more: How To Politely Reject a Job Offer (With Email Examples)

Tips for responding to an offer letter

Here are some tips to help you respond to an offer letter in a professional manner:

  • Sent an acknowledge email. The first thing to do as soon as you receive an offer letter is to respond with an acknowledgement email. In your email, thank the employer for extending the offer and let them know that you'll be taking some time to think about the offer.

  • Evaluate the offer. Consider the offer and think about the new role. Evaluate the responsibilities, compensation, benefits and other deciding factors that are important for you. Reach out to the employer if you're unsure about any conditions of the offer letter or if you have any follow-up questions.

  • Negotiate, if required. If the terms of the job offer don't align with what you're looking for, then you may want to negotiate a better deal. It's a good idea to send a counter-offer instead of an acceptance or rejection letter.

  • Decide your response. If you don't have a counter-offer, then the next option is to accept or reject the job offer. Irrespective of your decision, you can send an email to the employer to let them know your final decision. In your response email, consider using the same tone as used by the employer to maintain consistency.

  • Draft an acceptance letter. If you're accepting the offer, convey your gratitude and enthusiasm for the role and state that you would accept the offer. Ensure to include your proposed start date and conclude the acceptance letter with your good wishes.

  • Draft a rejection letter. If you've decided to reject the offer, simply thank them for the offer and let them know that you'll not be accepting the offer. You can also include the reason for rejecting the offer.

  • Proofread and edit your response. Ensure to review and proofread your response to identify any typographical or grammatical errors. You could also take the help of a friend or mentor to assist you in the proofreading process.

Explore more articles