The Offer Letter: It’s a Process

So you’ve worked hard to craft the perfect resume, researched your company to ace the interview, and you are now nearing the job offer process. Now what? Let's take a look at the process of receiving, negotiating, and ultimately accepting job offers.

After the last round of interviews, a verbal offer is made to the top candidate for the role. At that time, you will need to negotiate the salary and ask any questions to ensure you fully understand the offer beyond salary and benefits. When is the expected start date? What schedule are they expecting you to keep? While it can be intimidating, negotiation is an important step of the offer letter process. Research is key when negotiating! Check out this blog post for all things salary negotiation. This may be broken up into several different conversations as you work your way through the salary negotiation process. During these conversations, you will also want to mention if you are still interviewing for other positions or have other options. Definitely take your time to think over the offer and evaluate all of the details you and your employer discuss.

Once you and your employer have negotiated the offer and come to an agreement, you have a verbal offer. At this point, any interviewing or seeking out other positions should stop. If you are waiting to hear back from a different opportunity, you can ask the employer for an extension. After a verbal offer, employers will send an offer letter which puts your agreement in writing and makes the offer official.

An offer letter should include the following: the position the company is offering you, salary, benefits package, start date, and deadline to notify the company if you accept or decline the offer. Offer letters are usually sent by email, and typically require a signature. Nothing in the letter should be a surprise as you have already agreed upon salary and benefits, what the position entails, and your start date. However, an employment contingency is also often included in offer letters. An employment contingency is a safety measure the company uses to protect itself in the event it discovers information that impedes your ability to do the job. Employment contingencies can be a drug screening, background check, or a credit check and are only completed with your signed consent. You may also be asked to fill out tax forms, bank forms, or other types of employment agreements such as a non-disclosure agreement.

Remember, an offer letter is final. Once you sign and return it, do not keep looking for other jobs. If you receive an offer letter and do not want the job, do not sign the offer letter. Instead you will need to send an email declining the offer. If you need to extend the deadline to return the signed letter back to the company, communicate that to your employer. Follow this email template to ask for an extension. Of course, if you are happy with the offer, you can use the following email template to accept!

Congratulations, you got the offer! Take some time to relax and get excited about your new job. This is a huge accomplishment and you should be proud of yourself for your achievement.

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