Video Time: 7 Minutes Action Time: 5 – 10 Minutes
After all your preparation over the past few weeks, you will have learned how to lead your meeting, ace the interview, and negotiate effectively. If the hiring manager offered you the job with an excellent salary, solid benefits, and your other must-haves, you might think you’re already good to go. However, none of these enticements are legally binding until you receive that information in a written job offer letter.
You may have thought you were interviewing to be the company’s next Manager of Marketing, but unless it’s in writing, there’s no guarantee that this is the work you’ll actually be doing! You could walk into the office on the first day and find yourself working in customer support at a call center with 30 other people!
The writing in your offer letter allows you to set your terms in stone. It protects you, and it prevents the company from trying to take back any terms they promised you. If you receive a verbal offer of any salary, but that figure isn’t stated in the offer letter, then the company is not obligated to pay it. But if it’s written down, they must legally abide by it.
Even under the best circumstances, two people can recollect the same event differently. The hiring manager may, in good faith, have forgotten a detail you thought you negotiated or simply remembered it differently. Maybe you have kids, and you’re trying to fit your work around a childcare schedule. You successfully manage to negotiate a hybrid work schedule with the hiring manager. But what if your CEO isn’t a fan of remote work? Once again, if the details of your work agreement are not included in the written job offer letter, then your CEO doesn’t have to honor that. Get everything in writing!
Signing a letter means you agree to everything within it. Don’t sign until you’ve read it line by line! Yes, we know that reading a job offer letter is a less appealing activity than flossing your teeth, but you need to get this right!
It is vital to pay attention to those pesky little details. All the terms of employment you discussed with the hiring manager should be included, with nothing vague or left open to interpretation. For example, the offer letter may specify one vacation per year but it doesn’t state how long, so the company could define a vacation as just two days off. You’re stuck if you signed the offer letter with that vague wording. Read thoroughly!
Hot Tip #
Reach out quickly with any questions about your offer letter for clarification.