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The offer letter

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The offer letter
February 15, 2019 Wedding Anniversary Wishes No comments

This formal job offer letter example or formal job offer email template is for you to use when offering a full-time position to a selected candidate. Job offer letter.

Understanding the difference between an offer letter and a contract is one of the key ways to set yourself up for success in your career. Since the terms are closely linked, many recent grads tend to think of them interchangeably when in fact, an offer letter and a contract have some important differences.

Here are the key things you need to know about offer letters and contracts.

What is an offer letter?

Once you’ve successfully gotten through the interview process and received a verbal offer, you’ll soon receive an offer letter. So, what is an offer letter? It’s a formal job offer that includes most or all of the following things:

  • Job title
  • Start date
  • Salary
  • Manager’s name
  • Employee benefits
  • Employment relationship

Intended to lay out the terms of employment, an offer letter is the employer’s way of letting you know exactly what the job entails and what you can expect from accepting the role. Once you receive an offer letter, you typically have anywhere from 24 hours to a week to sign it. If you choose not to do so, the offer will expire.

What is a contract?

Similar to an offer letter, a contract lays out the details of a role and includes many of the same key pieces of information. However, unlike an offer letter, a contract typically has a specific time period attached to it and is used in cases where employers are hiring someone for a certain amount of time. Contracts are likely to be used in the following cases:

  • Freelance positions
  • Temp to perm positions
  • Contract positions for specific projects

Like offer letters, contracts are time sensitive and generally require a signature within about a week.

Are you likely to receive both an offer letter and a contract?

Generally speaking, the answer is no. Although offer letters and contracts serve similar purposes, they’re generally used for different types of work. While an offer letter indicates the beginning of a long term full-time role, a contract is more often used to a establish short-term work relationship or one that does not fit the terms for full-time employment. For example, while you might work standard full-time hours on a contract, you’re unlikely to receive the same benefits as a full-time employee such as health insurance or a 401k plan.

Pro Tip: Temp to perm employees (employees who begin as contractors before transitioning to full-time members of the team) are the exception to the rule. Since these types of employees start off as contracted workers, they work on a contract basis before receiving their offer letter to join the team full-time.

Knowing the difference between an offer letter and a contract is a great way to manage your expectations when it comes to accepting a job offer. This will ensure that you know what each type of offer means and that you’re able to make an informed decision about accepting it.

This formal job offer letter example or formal job offer email template is for you to use when offering a full-time position to a selected candidate. Job offer letter.

Formal job offer letter or email to candidates template

the offer letter

At Carta, we spend a lot of time figuring out how to better educate employees about startup equity. We realized that the job offer letter itself was a good place to do this, so in 2016, we decided to reinvent the offer letter.

Over the years, we’ve continued to iterate, but a few core characteristics of our offer letter have remained the same. I’ve highlighted those below, and you can download the full version of our current offer letter at the end to use as a template. All numbers are accurate as of April 2019.

Easy-to-read design

One of the main goals we had when creating our offer letter was to make it easy to read and understand. Starting a new job can be overwhelming, and having to go through pages of legalese doesn’t help.

Instead of a dense three-page document, we break down all the details into digestible chunks to help the candidate understand everything they’re reading—especially the equity portion of the offer.

Equity education

Equity can be complicated, but often, it’s what really separates job offers. This is why it’s so important for candidates to understand what they’re being offered. Instead of just telling them how many shares they can buy, we explain how vesting works, how to think about the value of their equity, and more.

Helpful context

At Carta, one of our core values is transparency. We live this out in a number of ways, but it all begins with our offer letter. While many companies simply note how many options the candidate can buy and at what price, we give candidates the numbers they need to do the math around our equity offer, including the projected preferred price, projected notional value of the grant, and more. And if we don’t know any of the numbers because we’re currently raising more money, we say so. We’ve also recently detailed how we fix historical errors in equity distribution.

I hope this example will encourage other companies to better explain equity in their employment offer letters. As it’s a key driver of wealth in tech, we think it’s crucial to level the playing field by making sure everyone understands how equity works. If you’d like to see the rest of the letter and use it as a template for your own, you can download it (and find instructions for implementing it) below.

Interested in implementing our job offer letter template using your ATS?

The process might vary depending on your applicant tracking system (ATS), but here are the general steps you should take:

  1. Download our template. We include PDF, Word, and Pages versions in the zip file.
  2. Update the template to reflect your company branding as well as relevant fields your ATS requires to generate the offer letter (e.g., “annual salary” should say something like {salary_amount}, not $100,000).
  3. Upload your new template to your ATS (we use Lever).
  4. Create the offer for your specific candidate in your ATS, adding the specific offer terms.
  5. Save the final version as a PDF and send to the candidate for their signature.

Related articles

We want to help other companies address their historical equity imbalances. Here’s how we reviewed our own equity guidelines, and how we approached extending fix-it grants to employees.

Carta works to explain equity to each of our employees. We encourage other startups to do the same; creating a culture of loyalty, trust and support.

Carta decided to change PTE to coincide with an employee’s vesting schedule. This gives Carta employees more freedom when exercising shares.

Thanks, you are now subscribed to Carta emails.

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Purpose of an Employment Offer Letter

the offer letter

Mr./Ms. Last Name
City, State Zip Code

Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name,

ABCD company is pleased to offer you the position of Assistant Director, Customer Relations. Your skills and experience will be an ideal fit for our customer service department.

As we discussed, your starting date will be February 1, 20XX. The starting salary is $48,000 per year and is paid on a weekly basis. Direct deposit is available.

Full family medical coverage will be provided through our company's employee benefit plan and will be effective on March 1. Dental and optical insurance are also available. ABCD offers a flexible paid time-off plan which includes vacation, personal, and sick leave. Time off accrues at the rate of one day per month for your first year, then increases based on your tenure with the company. Eligibility for the company retirement plan begins 90 days after your start date.

If you choose to accept this job offer, please sign the second copy of this letter and return it to me at your earliest convenience.

When your acknowledgment is received, we will send you employee benefit enrollment forms and an employee handbook which details our benefit plans and retirement plan. We look forward to welcoming you to the ABCD team.

Please let me know if you have any questions or I can provide any additional information.


First Name Last Name
Director, Human Resources
ABCD Company


I hereby accept the Assistant Director, Customer Relations position.





Employers draft employment offer letters and give them to newly hired employees before their first day of work. These letters contain the conditions of.

75+ Offer Letter Templates – PDF, DOC

the offer letter

Job Offer Acceptance Letter

The job offer acceptance letter should be well planned and well written.

The letter is a good opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to your new employer and to create a good impression from the word go.

The employment acceptance letter should be addressed to the person who offered you the job.

Check it carefully for typos and errors, you want to be sure it presents you in a professional light and reinforces that the employer made the right choice!

Adapt this sample letter for your own use when accepting the offer of employment.

Sample Job Offer Acceptance Letter

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email


Mrs Jane Brown
Human Resources Manager
Open Door Company
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Mrs Brown

Thank you for offering me the position of Assistant Accountant with Open Door Company. I am pleased to accept this offer and look forward to starting employment with your company on October 1, 2019.

As we discussed my starting salary will be $40 000 and health and life insurance benefits will be provided after 60 days of employment.

Thank you again for giving me this wonderful opportunity. I am eager to join your team and make a positive contribution to the company.

If there is any further information or paperwork you need me to complete, please let me know and I will arrange it as soon as possible.


Your signature

Typed name

Tips for writing your acceptance letter

The job acceptance letter should be to the point and positive, and should include the following:

  • thank the employer for the job offer stating the full job title
  • formally accept the job offer
  • discuss the terms and conditions of employment - salary, benefits, work schedule, starting date. This is an opportunity to clarify your employment conditions and prevent any future misunderstandings
  • highlight your appreciation and enthusiasm for this opportunity

If the employer has sent you the formal job offer in writing for you to sign and return, it is advisable to send an email to confirm your acceptance and that you have signed and sent the letter. You can use this sample employment acceptance email to do this.

The guide to the job offer letter clearly outlines what should be included in an offer of employment letter.

It is important not to accept the offer until you are sure of your decision. Go through accepting a job offer to view the questions to ask yourself before you accept a job offer.

Resign properly from your job using the sample resignation letter and leave the company on the right note.

Once you have accepted the offer you should formally withdraw from the job search.

It is professional and polite to notify any other employers who you are in the hiring process with that you are no longer a candidate. You can either do this with a polite phone call, a brief email or a letter.

Withdrawing your name from consideration should be done as soon as possible after writing your job offer acceptance letter.

Sample email withdrawing from the job search

Dear Mr Blue

I would like to express my appreciation for including me in the interview process for your Accountant position. I enjoyed meeting with you and learning more about your company.

However, I have accepted another employment offer and respectfully withdraw from consideration for your position.

I wish you and your company success and thank you again for your time and effort.


Chris Candidate

Remember to also cancel any upcoming interviews as soon as possible. Leaving other employers with a positive impression is important should you ever need to enter the job market again. 

Job Offer Pages

By sending a formal job offer acceptance letter you begin your employment with the company on a positive and professional note. It only takes a couple of minutes but it is of real value in creating the right impression.

Can I turn down a job offer after accepting it?

This is a frequently asked question and the simple answer is that as long as you have not yet signed a formal employment contract with the employer you can legally change your mind about accepting the job offer.

If you have signed an employment contract, go through it carefully to see what your legal obligations are. Check with an expert. Even if you have signed a contract, it is worth exploring the option of rejecting the job offer with the employer. Experience shows that the majority of employers would rather not have you start than begin your employment and quit shortly after.

Be 100% sure that you want to turn down the job offer before taking any action. The employer is unlikely to give you a second chance. Always inform the employer of your decision not to take the job as soon as possible.

Be polite and professional in your communication, usually better done in person, and always thank the employer for the opportunity. Follow up with a letter or email so it is in writing.

This sample letter or email will help you write your own decline a job offer letter after you have already accepted the position.

After accepting the job offer

View this standard job offer letter to make sure your offer of employment includes all the necessary details

Sample letters of resignation to adapt for your own use.

Find out how to resign using this essential job resignation checklist. Ensure that you resign from your job properly and professionally.

How to resign by resignation email.

Secure the job offer in a professional manner and begin your employment on the right note with a well written job offer acceptance letter.  

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This formal job offer letter example or formal job offer email template is for you to use when offering a full-time position to a selected candidate. Job offer letter.

the offer letter
Written by Mikanris
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