Job Offer Letter Toolkit: How To Create An Irresistible Job Offer [3 Templates]

Paul PetersOffer Letter 1

The offer stage can be a nerve wracking part of the hiring process.

When you've found your first choice, you want make a solid offer that gets candidates off the job market quickly. This is especially important now because we're in a job seekers' market, with more job openings going unfilled than ever. Because of that, the best candidates will often have multiple companies vying for them.

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Of course, in your effort to make the right offer, you want to make sure you get the legal aspects of your offer right - a poorly put together job offer can cause serious legal issues. 

So how do you make a great offer that takes the best candidates off the market, keeps you within budget, and covers you legally? 

How should your job offer process look? We've got a simple guide to make it easy for you.

The Job Offer Process, Step-by-Step

How should your job offer process look? We've got a simple guide to make it easy for you.

The process of making a job offer can look quite different, depending on the company and the job. Some companies hire people "on-the-spot," with no real formalized process, other companies have well-documented processes that take a little time. 

I talked to our resident expert on recruiting, and we put together a process that will bring you great results, without wasting time. 

1. Get any necessary approval for the hire. You don't want to make an offer that, it turns out, you can't back up. Need help with that? We've got a great article on job requisition forms.

2. Send an email to set up a phone call. Don't just try to send them a "yes or no" email or make an out-of-the-blue call asking them to make a decision. Send an email setting up a time to get their thoughts on an offer.

3. Call and make an informal offer. You'll want to get to this point fairly quickly. Don't go so fast that it makes you seem desperate, but if you can get them from application to offer in 2 weeks, you'll beat most competitors to the punch. 

4. Send out your formal offer. This will include detailed information, such as the job description and compensation package they're agreeing to. See our templates below for more help. 

5. Give the news to the people you didn't hire quickly. Don't overlook this part, it's an important part of employer branding - treat  candidates you passed over well, and you may be able to tap them again when the right position does open, or get referrals from them in the future.

What Every Job Offer Letter Should Include

Getting Legal Assistance

Before we get too far, it's important to note that what we've posted below is general good advice for creating a formal job offer letter, but laws vary widely between states and the employment situation. Get legal advice to create a rock solid offer letter.

Basic Cover Letter Info:

  • Position title.
  • Employment type - part time, full time, temporary, etc.
  • Compensation - salary, hourly rate, bonuses, commission being offered, etc.
  • Benefits - health, dental, paid time off, etc.
  • Schedule.
  • Workplace location.
  • Start date.
  • Pay dates - monthly, weekly, etc.
  • Who the candidate will report to.
  • Offer expiration date.

At-Will Employment:

In every state, with the exception of Montana, employees are presumed to be at-will, meaning they or the employer may terminate the employment relationship at any time, for any reason. This does not apply to certain employment situations, and under some collective bargaining agreement. 

Advice on including this in the offer letter varies, but at a minimum, be careful not to imply that the work is anything other than at-will, by stating that you're offering job security, or employment for a certain period of time.

Exempt or Non-exempt:

Some employers choose to include a statement in the offer letter about exemption status. Exempt employees are not eligible for overtime (typically salaried employees). Non-exempt employees are eligible for overtime.

Conditions and Agreements: 

You may want to include any conditions that potential employees must meet after being hired, or agreements they're expected to sign. These often include:

  • I-9 (U.S. employment eligibility verification).
  • Employee background checks.
  • Drug screening.
  • Non-compete agreements.
  • Non-disclosure agreements.
  • Intellectual property agreements.  

Ok, those our the basics. Below we've got some easy templates to get you started.

Formal Job Offer Letter Template

Here's a formal job offer template you can use to get started quickly.

Dear [Applicant Name],

[Company Name] is excited to bring you on board as [job title].

We’re just a few formalities away from getting down to work. Please take the time to review our formal offer. It includes important details about your compensation, benefits and the terms and conditions of your anticipated employment with [Company Name].

[Company Name] is offering a [full time, part time, etc.] position for you as [job title], reporting to [immediate manager/supervisor] starting on [proposed start date] at [workplace location]. Expected hours of work are [days of week and hours of work].

In this position, [Company Name] is offering to start you at a pay rate of [dollar amount] per [year, hour, etc.]. You will be paid on a [weekly, monthly, etc] basis, starting [date of next pay period].

As part of your compensation, we're also offering [If applicable, you’ll describe your bonus, profit sharing, commission structure, here].

As an employee of [Company Name] you will be eligible for [briefly name benefits, such as health insurance, dental insurance, etc.].

Please indicate your agreement with these terms and accept this offer by signing and dating this agreement on or before [offer expiration date].

Sincerely,
[Sender Name]

Informal Job Offer Email Template

Here is an example of an informal email job offer. We've included text at the beginning to help build excitement for the job and get them to accept the offer.

Dear [Applicant Name],

[Company Name] is excited to bring you on board as [Job Title]. 

You were our top candidate out of [# of candidates]. We were really sold on your [details about candidate that made them your choice].

Below you can read details about compensation, benefits and the terms and conditions of your anticipated job with [Company Name].

[Company Name] is offering a [full time, part time, etc.] position for you as [Job Title], reporting to [immediate manager/supervisor] starting on [proposed start date] at [workplace location]. Expected hours of work are [days of week and hours of work]. 

We'll start you at a pay rate of [dollar amount] per [year, hour, etc.]. You will be paid on a [weekly, monthly, etc] basis, starting [date of next pay period]. 

As part of your compensation, we're also offering [If applicable, you’ll describe your bonus, profit sharing, commission structure, here].

As an employee of [Company Name] you will be eligible for [briefly name benefits, such as health insurance, dental insurance, etc.].

Got questions? Feel free to email us or call. 

Sincerely,
[Sender Name]

Job Offer Warm Up Email Template

At Betterteam, we like to have a phone conversation to give the informal offer that you see above. We send an email like the one below to arrange this. 

Dear [Applicant Name],

That last interview went really well. We had [# of applicants] apply for this position, but you're our top choice because [reasons this was the best candidate you spoke to]. We also think you'd be a great fit with our team because [reason you think they'd be a great cultural fit].

Do you have time [date and time you'd like to meet] to review the details of this job and talk about an offer? 

Sincerely,
[Sender Name]

Need Some More Examples for Inspiration?

Looking for some more ideas about how to write your job offer? Here's some examples from big companies, including the offer Marissa Mayer received to become the CEO of Yahoo. 

Give these a quick read through, and you're sure to get additional ideas you can use in crafting your perfect job offer letter. 

You Sent Your Job Offer Letter - What's Next?

You've interviewed candidates, narrowed it down to your top choice, and sent your offer letter. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about what the next steps are, and how to respond to different answers. 

How long should you wait?

If you didn't put a expiration date on your job offer, how long should you wait to hear from them? We recommend giving them 3 days to think about it, ideally with the offer made on Friday, and the expiration on Monday.

What if your job offer is rejected?

Sometimes it happens. It will be worth the effort to find out why - it's information you can use to help improve future offers. Also, keep things cordial, even if you're disappointed. You never know when this person will come back, and they may have smart friends they'll recommend if they've had a good experience. Send a nice response thanking them for their time, and asking if there was anything you could have to change their decision.

What if you change your mind?

Things happen - you get new information, or there's a sudden change to your company in markets that make you want to rescind your offer. If it is an at-will position, then it there may not be any legal issues - but consult an attorney before making a final decision

The candidate will be understandably upset - it's possible they've turned down other offers by now. Let them know what happened as soon as possible, and explain your reasons in detail. 

What if your candidate changes their mind?

You may be tempted to get angry at this point. You've put in a lot of time and money, made the offer, and possible sent out emails to other candidates letting them know the position has been filled. And now it's not filled. 

Don't freak out! Keep the relationship respectful and see if you can learn what happened. In the mean time, if you've treated the other candidates well, you should be able to get back in touch with your previous choices and get back on track.

Make Your Best Offer

Ok, that's what we've got for helping you craft a better job offer letter, and making an offer that will get the best candidate for the job.

Still need some candidates to make offers to? Post your job to 100+ job boards with just a few clicks, and get expert assistance putting together an awesome job ad.


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Paul Peters
Paul Peters
Wordsmith for Betterteam.