Staffing Resources


The Do’s and Don’ts of Offer Letters

November 20th, 2013


Despite their popularity during the hiring process, the writing of job offer letters can still be a mystery for many employers. Since the offer letter is an actual legal contract between the company and the new hire, a company recruiter may fear negative consequences if something is said in the letter that isn’t right. Or the company representative may include too little information that will result in the candidate not accepting the offer of employment.

Whatever the case may be, there are some elements that every offer letter should include and some things that need to be left out.


  • Personalize the offer of employment letter to the new hire’s full name and print it out on company letterhead.

  • Limit the offer letter to one page, and include any additional supporting documents such as the full job description, non-compete agreement, intellectual property form, and any contractual paperwork.

  • Welcome the new hire to the company in a warm opening statement, expressing gratitude that they are considering being part of your team.

  • Provide the offer for the actual job title, em-bolding the job title name in the first sentence so that it’s clear what position you are offering.

  • If the employee is being offered a temporary assignment, the length of the assignment and the start and end date.

  • Include a statement that provides starting salary or hourly earnings information as negotiated during the interview process.

  • Add the deadline they have to accept the offer of employment, with instructions of how to submit the signed letter and accompanying paperwork.

  • Provide the actual start date for the job itself, the time they are to report, the shift hours, along with any training or orientation information in a brief one-liner.

  • Give the new hire the HR department’s contact name and phone number to address any questions or concerns before starting work.

  • State that the offer of employment is contingent upon the candidate’s successful passing of any required pre-screens, such as a criminal background check and a drug test.


  • Use a generic form letter as your offer letter of employment or drop the employee name in using a database program.

  • Create an offer letter that is too lengthy or includes far too much information for the new hire. Keep it direct and to the point.

  • Leaving out important salary or hourly earnings information, the actual job title, or the benefits of employment.

  • Stating anywhere that this offer is a permanent one. In many states employment is at-will, meaning that the employee can be terminated at any time for almost any reason.

  • Offering any information about potential performance based salary increases or bonus amounts which an employee can sue for in court.

  • Forgetting to include a full job description as an attached document, to be reviewed by the new hire.

  • Explaining or providing any criteria about why the candidate was chosen out of all the other candidates, including any positive or negative factors about the candidate(s).

  • Assuming that the candidate has accepted the offer of employment unless you’ve heard from he or she by the proposed deadline – make sure you provide a date to return the signed offer paperwork.

  • No need to include any tax forms until the employee actually accepts the offer of employment – that will be handled during the first day on the job.

  • Forgetting to say that the offer of employment is contingent upon the candidate’s successful passing of a criminal background check, drug test, or other required pre-screens.


Your offer letter doesn’t have to be elaborate. Instead, keep it simple and to the point. Include just what the candidate needs to accept the offer then you can focus on talking more with the new hire at orientation. If you are looking for employment agencies in Atlanta, contact us today.

Leave a Reply