Knowing How to Read a Job Offer Letter
One of the final steps in the job commitment is the job offer letter. Often these offer letters can be very intimidating because by necessity they are filled with legal statements.
Here’s what you should expect from an offer letter:
- A salary offer – the offer may contain both a firm salary amount and a variable amount based on your performance.
- A sign-on bonus – some employers may offer a bonus for signing your contract. Check to see if you have to pay it back if you leave within a given period of time.
- Benefit information – the offer will describe your eligibility for benefits although it will not contain much information on the actual benefits.
- Job Title – your job title will be given and you may be given job rank information.
- The offer letter could refer to a background check, a drug screen, and a physical examination and employment eligibility verification as a requirement for employment.
- Start date – the letter may specify a start date and a starting location.
- Employment agreement – the offer letter will indicate that you will need to sign an employment agreement. (see the topic: Understanding Employment Agreements).
- Graduation verification – the letter may spell out requirements for verifying your graduation.
- An acceptance statement – you will be expected to sign the employment offer and return it by a specific date.
Generally there’s nothing in the offer letter that should give you much of a concern, or in fact that you can change. If the salary is low you may be able to negotiate a higher salary (see the topic: Negotiating a Job Offer)..