Job Offer Letters Dragging You Down? I Can Help (+ Free Sample Templates!)

Let’s face it: Hiring a new employee takes a lot of work.

From reviewing applications and interviewing, to extending an offer and on-boarding—you’ve got a lot to handle. It’s easy to get caught up in the madness, but it’s important to remember that even the smallest factors can play a part in your candidate’s experience with your company.

A great interview doesn’t mean your candidate will accept your offer. That’s why I think your offer letter and its format are both key components to making you a competitive employer.

Offer letters can take a lot of time to draft up. So I’m sharing some tips and tricks that’ll have you zooming through yours faster than you can say “Congratulations! We’re so excited for you to join us!”

 

1. Initial offer

First things first—if you want a candidate to know you’re going to hire them, give them a phone call as soon as you can. If all goes as expected and the candidate is interested in accepting your verbal offer, you can follow up with a written or emailed offer letter. But a phone call will help convey that you’re expected to welcome them to your company and team.

 

2. Heading/Greeting

If you want, you can include your company’s logo and address at the top of your offer letter. I don’t think this is mandatory, but it might be custom at your company.

If your company’s culture is laid-back, go ahead and say Hi [candidate’s name].

If it’s not—totally cool. Stick with the traditional Dear [candidate’s name].

 

3. Job Description

If the position is full-time and exempt, this is where you should throw that in.

You can also include a list of basic duties of the position, but make sure to say that the list isn’t comprehensive. Then, let your candidate know who they’ll report to in their position.

 

4. Compensation

A competitive compensation package is the most important thing to candidates who are considering a new job, according to MRI Network.

So get straight to the point. It’s time to tell your candidate their base pay. Also let them know if they’re eligible for bonuses or annual incentives.

Full and comprehensive compensation packages also include benefits information. That’s up next.

 

5. Benefits

Let’s be honest: complicated paragraphs about health insurance plans and accrued paid time can be confusing and difficult to read.

The best way to concisely share your benefits information in a job offer letter is to list them all out.

Job offer letters are a way to highlight your company’s philosophy and culture, so make sure to include any benefits or perks (Unlimited PTO? Free snacks? Bring your dog to work days?) that make your company stand out, too.

 

6. At-will status

Check the labor laws in your state to see what you should include in your offer letter. Unless you’re in Montana, your candidate will likely be an at-will employee.

This means you can terminate them at any time, without notice or cause. They can also end their employment relationship with you as they please.

It’s important to tell your candidate about this in their offer letter to avoid any confusion later on. (Bonus: Check out our free job offer letter template for at-will employees.)

 

7. Contingencies

If your candidate needs to pass a background check and/or drug test before they begin working for your company, you want to let them know in their offer letter.

If you require they sign your confidentiality and non-compete agreements when they accept your offer, this is also the place to include that.

 

8. Expiration date

At the end of your offer letter, give your candidate a deadline for their decision.

Even though not all companies do this, I think it’s vital.

If your candidate is juggling more job offers from other companies, providing them with an expiration date for your offer pushes them to be decisive. Even if they choose to reject your offer, at least you’ll know sooner rather than later.

And if they accept your offer by the required date, you can start their onboarding process ASAP.

 

9. Closing

Confirm your interest in the candidate and how excited you are to have them join your organization. Open the door for questions and concerns.

 

10. Formatting formalities

Beyond the actual content of the job offer letter, you should also pay attention to what the letter looks like.

If you send your letter via email, it’s okay to leave out formal headings to keep things casual, short, and direct.

If you draft your letter in Microsoft Word, make sure you use universal fonts that will be available on your candidate’s computer. Try to keep formatting simple so it doesn’t get messed up on different devices.

And if you’re using Google Docs, I suggest you abide by the Microsoft Word rules. There’s nothing worse than writing a great offer letter on Google, just for it to look completely different when downloaded.

And here’s an important tip: send job offer letters as PDF files. That way, no matter what, your documents will look the same when downloaded.

 

Using these tips and templates

Now that you’ve read through some pointers, it’s time for you to write your own offer letters.

I’ve included two job offer letter templates below to make your life easier.

Still looking for more offer letters? Check out these templates for entry-level employees, part-time employees, and more.

 

TEMPLATE 1: FOR WHEN YOU PUT THE WHOLE JOB OFFER IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL

 

Subject line: Job Offer for [position] from [company]

Dear [candidate’s name],

Congratulations! We’re so excited to extend you an offer for the position of [job title] at [company name]! Your [skills/qualifications] really stood out to us. We’re confident you’ll be a great fit here.

As we talked about earlier, this is a [full-time or part-time] [exempt/non-exempt] position at our [location] location that will require [hours per week/daily schedule]. You will report to [supervisor’s name/job title].

Your starting [annual salary/hourly wage] is [amount], paid in [bi-weekly, semi-monthly, etc.] installments by direct deposit. You are also eligible for [bonus or annual incentive information].

Our benefits package includes:

  • Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision insurance
  • 401(k) retirement plan, eligible [at time]
  • [x] annual paid holidays
  • [x] days of annual paid time off, which can be accrued on a basis of [x] hours for every [x] hours worked

I am attaching a document to this email with more information about our competitive benefits plans for you to look over.

We want to make sure you know that your employment with [company name] is at-will. This means that either you or [company name] are free to end your employment at any time, with or without notice or cause. No matter what changes during your employment at [company name], this at-will relationship is not intended to change.

Attached are our at-will agreement, confidentiality agreement, and non-compete agreement. Please sign and date all three forms and send them back to us by [date] if you wish to accept our offer.

Prior to then, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns!

Thank you so much for your interest in employment at [company]! We look forward to welcoming you to our team.

 

Warm regards,

 

[sender’s name]
[sender’s job title]
[sender’s email]
[sender’s phone number]
[company logo]
[link to company website]
[company address]

Download Template 1 as a Word document.

 

 

TEMPLATE 2: FOR WHEN YOU ATTACH ALL THE IMPORTANT STUFF TO THE EMAIL

 

Subject line: Offer for [position] from [company]

Hi [candidate’s name],

Congratulations! I want to extend you an offer for [position] at [company]! I’m so excited to welcome you to our family.

This is a [full-time or part-time] [exempt/non-exempt] position at our [location] location and will require [hours per week/daily schedule]. You will report to [supervisor’s name/job title].

Your starting [annual salary/hourly wage] is [amount], paid in [bi-weekly, semi-monthly, etc.] installments by direct deposit. You are also eligible for [bonus or annual incentive information].

I’m attaching several documents, including our competitive benefits packages, to this email. I hope they will help you make an informed decision to work with us.

Please sign and date our confidentiality agreement, non-compete agreement, and at-will employment agreement and send them back to me by [date] if you wish to accept this offer.

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns!

On behalf of everyone at [company], we look forward to having you on board.

 

Best regards,

 

[sender’s name]
[sender’s job title]
[sender’s email]
[sender’s phone number]
[company logo]
[link to company website]
[company address]

Download Template 2 as a Word document.